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Abstract Detail

Greater Caribbean Biodiversity and its Eco-physiology: Sustainability or degradation in next 50 years?

González, Favio [1], Mora, Natalia Pabon [2].

Colombia and the future of the Páramos.

The páramos are some of the most (if not the most) diversified high-mountain ecosystems on Earth. Although the páramos are present in the mountains of Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador (plus a small satellite patch in Costa Rica), it is in Colombia where they reach their highest peaks in terms of altitude, latitude, geographic extension and, most importantly, biodiversity. The páramos of Colombia, crucial in terms of a better understanding of the Central- and South American biogeographical connections, have been extensively studied for more than two centuries. However, the biota present there is still to be described; for example, in the last two years, the authors have described at least eight new species from two not closely related plant families (Campanulaceae and Orobanchaceae); similar examples exist in families such as orchids, melastoms, Asteraceae, etc. The broad taxonomic representation in the páramo biota requires, thus, an effective cooperation between local scientists and institutions abroad. Large scale research projects have been so far very successful, especially between our institutions and the New York Botanical Garden, the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Amsterdam. The lack of systematists specializing in páramo lineages and the complex taxonomy of most plant genera well represented in the páramos are two primary reasons to call for more monographic and phylogenetic work in páramo taxa. In this context, our talk will emphasize the past, present and future status of the Colombian páramos. It has to be kept in mind that this ecosystem is presently one of the most threatened, due mainly to mining, agriculture, and pasture, and predict the negative effects of global warming especially for those species that comprise the so-called superpáramo. We will address possible solutions and urgent actions, in both a short and a long term, in order to alleviate, delay and (hopefully) stop the páramo agony we have to face every day in Colombia.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Bogotá, Columbia
2 - Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Bogotá, Colombia


Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Rosedown/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: SY11002
Abstract ID:284
Candidate for Awards:None

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