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Caldasia

Print version ISSN 0366-5232

Abstract

ALBESIANO, SOFÍA  and  RANGEL-CH., J. ORLANDO. Structure of the plant communities from Chicamocha canyon, 500- 1200 m.a.s.l.; Santander, Colombia : a tool for conservation. Caldasia [online]. 2006, vol.28, n.2, pp.307-325. ISSN 0366-5232.

In the middle part of the basin of the canyon of the Chicamocha river (Cepita and Piedecuesta, Santander-Colombia), between the 500 and the 1170 m of altitude, the scrub vegetation-type is dominant in the physiognomy of plant communities, although there are some forest types growing along the shores of small rivers and streams. The lower classes of frequency distributions of height, cover and DBH content mostly of the individuals. Most of the elements of the herbaceous stratum measure between 60 cm and 1 m, and those of the shrubby-stratum between 1,9 and 2,1 m and the cover varies between 0,3 and 1,44 m2. Individuals with DBH> 8 cm are very rare. The most important species in the regional vegetation according to the Index of Importance (IVI) are: Stenocereus griseus (79), Lippia origanoides (76) and Prosopis juliflora (75). The plant-richness of the area is represented by 69 families of vascular plants, with 173 genera and 220 species. The families with more genera and species are: Asteraceae (15 genera/16 species), Euphorbiaceae (9/16), Fabaceae (11/12), Poaceae (11/12) and Cactaceae (6/7). Changes in plant-cover occur between 1960-1990 which were related with extensive cattle ranching and the extraction of fuelwood for domestic use and the construction of roads and houses. The Index of Deforestation (deforestation and excessive felling of woody-vegetation) estimated in the last 30 years in the middle part of the semi-arid region of the canyon of the Chicamocha river is 7%.

Keywords : Structure of the vegetation; diversity; conservation; semi-arid region; Chicamocha river; Santander; Colombia.

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