The Endemic Plants of Chile

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Del General Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins

Here the Andes have imposing peaks close to 5000 m above sea level and at lower levels meadows (locally known as veranadas) abound where traditionally cattle graze during the summer season. The native vegetation has practically disappeared from the Intermediate Depression due to intense agriculture and wine production. There are a few habitats able to support scrub and sclerophyllous forest, except for mountain streamsides and largely inaccessible mountain locations. The National Reserve of Río Cipreses is a very important Andean refuge for natural vegetation, where mature forests containing Cryptocarya alba, Kageneckia angustifolia, Lithraea caustica and Quillaja saponaria can be found. The hills of the coast, which formerly supported forests and thickets of native flora, have been transformed into wheat fields and today, they are forested with exotic pines and eucalyptus. However, in the coastal mountains the statuesque Chilean palm (Jubaea chilensis), is afforded protection in Palmas de Cocalán National Park and the highly-threatened Beilschmiedia berteroana and Citronella mucronate, plus other local endemics are protected in Roblería del Cobre de Loncha National Reserve. The coastline is sparsely populated, but an important traditional industry is salt extraction, which still exists in Cáhuil, close to Pichilemul.

Endemic Taxa in Del General Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins

Endemic taxa only occurring in Del General Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins