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Print version ISSN 0366-5232On-line version ISSN 2357-3759


CARDENAS-AREVALO, GLADYS  and  VARGAS-RIOS, ORLANDO. Life history traits of species in a disturbed plant communityin a humid paramo (Chingaza National Natural Park). Caldasia [online]. 2008, vol.30, n.2, pp.245-264. ISSN 0366-5232.

Eleven life history traits of vascular plants morphology and regeneration) were studied in four sites with different degrees of disturbance. They belong to the same landscape unit and have similar topographic conditions. The four study sitesare located in the Tunjo and Piedras Gordas valleys, Paramo of Palacio, Chingaza National Natural Park, Cundinamarca, between 3400-3600 m and at 4º45' 03'N, 73º50`50' W. These valleys (mainly the Tunjo River valley) have a long history of disturbance by burning and livestock grazing; the native community is composed of Espeletia killipii, Chusquea tessellata and Calamagrostis effusa. Through analysis of vegetation classification and principal components analyses (PCA), the species were grouped according to their similar traits; the abundance was analyzed according to the degree of disturbance. Three species groups were identified and differentiated mainly by their morphologic traits: type of plant, growth form, habit and height. Group one is characterized mainly by graminoid species (73%), erect habit (100%) in tussocks (68%) with height above 5 cm (60 %); the -abundance cover of the group is lower when the degree of disturbance increases, it is most abundant in places with light or no disturbance (33 and 30 % respectively). Group two is characterized by dragging or prostrate herbs (76%) that form cushions or carpets (86%) with height of under 5 cm (79%), occuring in places with low disturbance, where it is most abundant (44 %). Group three is characterized by herbs (88%) in rosettes (100%), that do not form cushions or carpets, was least abundant at the most disturbed site (8%).

Keywords : Disturbance; life histories; humid paramo; traits.

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