La Cordillera Central Colombiana Transecto Parque Los Nevados

Ultima Parte

Ed.: Thomas van der Hammen; Alice G. dos Santos

2003. X, 545 pages, 100 figures, 58 tables, 2 maps, 1 CD-ROM, 18x25cm, 1700 g
Language: English

(Studies on Tropical Andean Ecosystems, Volume 5)

ISBN 978-3-443-65004-9, bound, price: 124.00 €

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ecosystems tropical Andean vegetation Ökosystem Tropen Anden Vegetation


Synopsis top ↑

This volume 5 is the last one of the joint publication of data on the Parque Los Nevados Transect, Colombian Central Cordillera. It includes principally chapters on the vegetation, maps and a final chapter that attempts to join, integrate and compare the data published in volume 1, 3, 4, and 5 of the series Studies on Tropical Andean Ecosystems, and to differentiate and characterize the zonal ecosystems of the transect area.

Still in preparation is a broad study on the flora and vegetation of mosses and liverworts of the three transects through the three Cordilleras of the Northern Andes (Central, Oriental and Occidental). That study will be published in one of the next volumes of this series, that will be dedicated principally to the Cordilleras Occidental (vol. 6) and Oriental (vol. 7).

We hope that the data presented here and in the other volumes of the series, will contribute to a better understanding of the Tropical Andean orobiome, and also be of benefit for conservation of its ecosystems, vegetation and biodiversity, and for a sustainable (eco-) development.

Bespr.: Phytocoenologia 36 (1), 2006, S. 159-160 top ↑

This volume is the latest volume of four joint publications concerning environmental data from the Parque Los Nevados Transect in the Central Cordillera of Colombia that were obtained in the course of the Ecoandes project ("Structure, composition and functioning of montane tropical Andean ecosystems") in Colombia. Initiated by Thomas van der Hammen in 1977, Ecoandes intends to gain a deeper understanding of the current structure, composition, ecology and distribution of tropical montane ecosystems, in turn relating this to paleo-ecological and socio-economical information available. The present volume comprises principally data on vegetation and aims to combine and evaluate the data published in the other volumes of the series named "Studies on Tropical Andean Ecosystems". It further comprises a differentiation and characterisation of the zonal ecosystems of the transect area in the form of a vegetation map. The accompanying CD-ROM provides complex tables and figures such as several presence and synoptic tables as well as a detailed pollen diagram.

As little is currently known on the natural composition and distribution of vegetation types of tropical Andean ecosystems, this book constitutes an excellent data base for all those who are interested in South American mountain vegetation and ecology. The Parque Los Nevados transect crosses the Central Cordillera of the Colombian Andes in a west-east direction approximately 4 or 5 degrees north of the equator and is about 150 km long. The 12 chapters are written in either English or Spanish and accompanied by a summary in the other language, respectively. All legends of figures, photos and tables are presented in both languages. The first three chapters describe the vegetation of the transect along an attitudinal gradient (paramo vegetation, rain forests as well as equatorial inter-andean and sub-andean forests), and provide syntaxonomical classifications as well as the corresponding synoptic tables. Several photos as well as detailed drawings on the physiognomy and structure of the vegetation types ease the understanding and conception of the respective formations. Chapter 4 is a reprint of part of J. Cuatrecasas' geobotanical observations from 1932 that comprises information on the study area of the present book. Jose Cuatrecasas was a Spanish botanist whose research was devoted to the discovery, classification, biogeography, and ecology of plants of the paramo and subparamo regions of Andean South America). Chapter 5 contains the basic information to the accompanying vegetation map, including a very detailed description of the plant communities, terrain units and land cover units (Parque National Los Nevados, 1:50.000, highly detailed legend of land cover, substrate and soil types). Chapter 6 describes the recovery of the paramo vegetation after the 1985 eruption of the Ruiz volcano at an altitude of 3800-4400 m asl, while chapter 7 discusses the relationship between landforms, deposits and the current vegetation cover of the same volcano. Specific topics such as palaeoecological studies, marized format. In addition it attempts to combine the data on vegetation, soil and climate in the form of several maps, and identifies the main zonal ecosystems.

The present volume represents a highly valuable, very complete contribution to the vegetation ecology of South American mountain ecosystems. However, in my opinion the authors should have refrained from using such a detailed syntaxonomical classification because the Colombian Central Cordillera is still poorly studied and no adequate and comparable database exists for this region so far. A non-formal classification of vegetation types would have been equally valuable, and would not present future scientists with a confect of nomenclature. In addition, an introduction chapter providing the reader with a general overview of the main aims of the project Ecoandes as well as a summary of the already published volumes of the series "Studies on Tropical Andean Ecosystems" would have facilitated a wider comprehension of the general context. The accompanying map of the Parque los Nevados transect should have been provided with a minor scaled map showing its broader localisation in Colombia, and the literature cited could have been updated. However, a strength of the book lies in the innumerable illustrative black-and-white photographs, most of which are of high quality, as well as many detailed drawings of vegetation units including the names of the prominent species. The quality of a few figures (e.g. Fig. 19, 51, 60-64, 67-70) could have been improved upon before printing.

Despite the slight criticism, the present volume synthesises an impressive amount of information remarkably well and provides a very sound basis for future research. Given the rich design of the book and the solid quality of the hardcover binding, the price - albeit rather expensive - is reasonable. Due to the study region, the book would gain the Interest of a narrow readership, but should nonetheless be at disposal in every library oriented towards South American mountain ecology.

Isabell HENSEN, Halle/Saale

Contents top ↑

1. The paramo vegetation of the volcanic Ruiz-Tolima massif La
vegetación de páramo del macizo volcánico Ruiz-Tolima S. Salamanca,
A.M. Cleef & J.O. Rangel Ch. 1
2. The Andean rain forests of the Parque Los Nevados Transect,
Cordillera Central, Colombia Los bosques andinos del Transecto Parque
Los Nevados, Cordillera Central, Colombia A.M. Cleef, J.O. Rangel
Ch. & S. Salamanca 79
3. The equatorial interandean and subandean forests of the Parque Los
Nevados Transect, Cordillera Central, Colombia Los bosques
ecuatoriales interandinos y subandinos del Transecto Parque Los
Nevados, Cordillera Central, Colombia J.O. Rangel Ch., A.M. Cleef &
S. Salamanca 143
Appendix 1, chapters 1, 2 and 3. Vegetation releves TPN Apendice 1,
capitulos 1, 2 y 3. Levantamientos de vegetación TPN (compilado por
J. O. Rangel Ch.) 205
4. Observaciones geobotanicas en el Nevado del Tolima, Cordillera
Central, en 1932 Geobotanical observations on the Nevado del Tolima,
Central Cordillera, in 1932 J. Cuatrecasas 241
5. Vegetation map of the Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados (Central
Cordillera, Colombia) Mapa de la vegetación del Parque Nacional
Natural Los Nevados (Cordillera Central, Colombia) E.H. Kloosterman,
A.M. Cleef & S. Salamanca 311
Appendix 2, vegetation map of the Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados.
Scale 1:50,000. Included in the back of this volume. Apendice 2. mapa
de la vegetación del Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados. Escala
1:50.000. Incluído en el final de este volumen.
6. Recovery of the paramo vegetation after the 1985 eruption of the
Ruiz Volcano La recuperación de la vegetación del páramo después de la
erupción del volcán del Ruiz en 1985 S. Salamanca 347 7. Ruiz volcano:
Landforms and deposits and their relation to the actual vegetation
cover Volcán del Ruiz: Formas de terreno y depósitos y su relación con
la cobertura vegetal actual S. Salamanca 381
Appendix 3, Ruiz Volcano: Landforms and deposits and their relation to
the actual vegetation cover. Map (scale 1:25,000). Included in the
back of this volume. Apendice 3, Volcán del Ruiz: Formas de terreno y
su relación con la vegetación actual/Mapa (escala 1:25.000). Incluído
en el final de este volumen.
8. Paleoecological analysis of the Lagunares de Santa Isabel section
Análisis paleoecológico de la sección Lagunares de Santa Isabel
S. Salamanca & G.W. Noldus 393
9. Dynamics and evolution of the paramo vegetation under the influence
of volcanism Dinámica y evolución de la vegetación de páramo bajla
influencia del volcanismo S. Salamanca 421
10. Aspectos de la transformación del páramo por el hombre Aspects of
the transformation of the paramo vegetation by man P.A. Verweij,
K. Kok & P.E. Budde 429
11. Diversidad y ecología de comunidades epifíticas en la Cordillera
Central, Colombia Diversity and ecology of the epiphytic communities
in the Cordillera Central, Colombia J.H.D. Wolf 453
12. Ecosistemas zonales en los flancos oeste y este de la Cordillera
Central (transecto Parque Los Nevados) Zonal ecosystems of the west
and east flanks of the Colombian Central Cordillera (Parque Los
Nevados transect) T. van der Hammen 503