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The Endemic Plants of Chile

Region: Arica y Parinacota

The relatively small area (16,899 km²) of Arica and Parinacota Region (XV) is located in the extreme north of Chile bordering the Department of Tacna in Peru. Much of the region is characterized by having a very low rainfall, especially in coastal areas which unlike other northern Chilean regions has little influence from the fog zone of lomas formations. The coastal hyper-arid belt runs from Arica (through Region Tarapacá) until the seaport of Antofagasta and as a result, there are exceptionally low levels of species diversity and plant density. The low number of endemics (79) is in part due to the aridity of much of this region but also because species share a common distribution between northern Chile and southern Peru and to a lesser extent with Bolivia. The Andean-fed river systems provide an important habitat for some endemic species, and the increase in rainfall at about 2800 m is sufficient to sustain a pre-altiplano shrub-steppe and at higher elevations the more species diverse pre-altiplano shrubland.

A sparsely vegetated river cuts its way through a barren landscape
A sparsely vegetated river cuts its way through a barren landscape
Photo: M.F.Gardner

Endemic Taxa in Arica y Parinacota

Endemic taxa only occurring in Arica y Parinacota