New records of vascular flora from wild coastal areas of the Mediterranean-temperate phytogeographic belt in Chile.

ID: 613 / 347

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: New records of vascular flora from wild coastal areas of the Mediterranean-temperate phytogeographic belt in Chile.

Authors:

Jimmy M. Pincheira-Ulbrich1,3,4, Ulises R. Zambrano2 & Fernando A. Peña-Cortés F3

Affiliations: 1 Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Temuco, Chile. 2 Universidad Católica de Temuco, Geografía, Temuco, Chile 3 Laboratorio de Planificación Territorial, Universidad Católica de Temuco 4 Núcleo de Estudios Ambientales, facultad de Recursos Naturales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Temuco, Chile

Abstract:

The study of floristic diversity is key to understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of plant communities, especially in the context of climate change. The lack of systematic and updated inventories has hindered the assessment of these changes in diversity. This study focused on the diversity of climbing plants, vascular epiphytes and associated species in five wild areas of the Mediterranean temperate coastal phytogeographic belt of Chile, areas that had not been surveyed for more than 25 years. Our hypothesis was a possible reduction in species richness over time, influenced by a north-south latitudinal gradient, due to the potential effects of climate change. The sampling design was based on transects, with 100 circular quadrats of 3 m diameter created for analysis. Results showed that, contrary to hypothesis, the data revealed unexpectedly high species richness, with 34 previously undocumented records. This may be due to a combination of factors, including differences in sampling methods between studies, advances in taxonomic knowledge, and variations in microhabitats that may have favoured the presence of new species. Although climate change remains a critical factor in species distributions, these results question the validity of direct comparisons between inventories, both in time and space. They also highlight the need for more systematic botanical studies using standardised methods to monitor vascular plant biodiversity.

: 7, 140, 103

Key words: Community ecology, filmy ferns, climbing plants, biodiversity hotspots, biodiversity monitoring, streams