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      Bofedales: high altitude peatlands of the central Andes Translated title: Bofedales: turberas de alta montaña de los Andes centrales


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          There is an exceptional group of alpine peatlands in the world situated in the arid grasslands of the central Andes. The peatlands in northern Chile occur in the most arid part of their range. Members of the Juncaceae are the primary peat-forming plant species. Fresh and mildly saline groundwaters originate from glaciers, snowmelt and rain are the water sources for the northern Chile peatlands. Paleoecological investigations suggest that some peatlands are recent features of the landscape having developed within the last three thousand years or less. These peatlands are unique, extremely fragile water features sensitive to climate changes and human disturbances such as regional mining activity. Much more work is required to develop scientifically based sound management and conservation programs for the rare plants and animals that live in them and to ensure the future livelihoods of the indigenous peoples who depend on them

          Translated abstract

          Existe un grupo excepcional de turberas (bofedales) de alta montaña en el mundo situados en la estepa árida de los Andes centrales. Los bofedales en el norte de Chile están presentes en la parte más árida de su rango. Las principales especies de plantas responsables de la formación de turba corresponden a miembros de Juncaceae. El agua fresca y medianamente salina de los bofedales proviene de agua subterránea asociada a riachuelos proveniente de glaciares, derretimiento de nieve y lluvia. Investigaciones paleoecológicas sugieren que algunos bofedales son integrantes recientes del paisaje, habiéndose desarrollado durante los últimos tres mil años o menos. Estos bofedales son entidades únicas, extremadamente frágiles por su dependencia del agua, sensibles a los cambios climáticos y vulnerables a la alteración humana tal como la actividad minera en la región. Se requiere mucho más trabajo para desarrollar programas de manejo y conservación, con sólidas bases científicas, de las plantas y animales que viven en ellos, y para asegurar la capacidad futura de pastoreo de la cual dependen los pueblos indígenas

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          Most cited references83

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          Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth

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              Interannual Variability of Summertime Convective Cloudiness and Precipitation in the Central Andes Derived from ISCCP-B3 Data


                Author and article information

                Revista chilena de historia natural
                Rev. chil. hist. nat.
                Sociedad de Biología de Chile (Santiago, , Chile )
                June 2006
                : 79
                : 2
                : 245-255
                [03] La Serena orgnameCenter for Advanced Studies in Arid Zones (CEAZA) Chile
                [04] La Serena orgnameInstitute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB) Chile f_squeo@ 123456userena.cl
                [01] La Serena orgnameUniversidad de La Serena orgdiv1Facultad de Ciencias orgdiv2Departamento de Biología Chile
                [02] Ontario orgnameUniversity of Waterloo Canada roaraven@ 123456uwaterloo.ca
                S0716-078X2006000200010 S0716-078X(06)07900210

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

                : 30 January 2006
                : 08 January 2005
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 47, Pages: 11

                SciELO Chile


                estepa árida,Altiplano,Andes centrales,central Andes,peatlands,South America,turberas,América del Sur,arid grasslands


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