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Print version ISSN 0366-5232


RANGEL-CH., J. ORLANDO. The richness of flowering plants in Colombia. Caldasia [online]. 2015, vol.37, n.2, pp.279-307. ISSN 0366-5232.

Based on the regional floristic inventories carried out since 1991 this paper documents the richness patterns (geographical distribution and concentration) to family level of flowering plants in Colombia and its natural regions. In Colombia are represented 238 of the 414 families of flowering plants globally recognized, which means 57.7% of this richness. Among natural (geographical) regions included in this study, the Amazon is the richest in number of species. The richness index at the family level was high in the Caribbean Region (15.6 x 10-4); at the species level was high in Chocó (3,4.x10-2) and lowest in the Orinoco (1.7x10-2.). In the Orinoquian region are absent 65 families, in the Amazon 49, in the Choco 59 and 35 in the Caribbean region. Regarding taxonomic distinctiveness (family level) in the Caribbean are 19 families with restricted geographical distribution, in Amazonia five, in Choco and in the Orinoco one in each case. A direct relationship between surface area of the natural region and taxonomic distinctiveness and the richness patterns was not found. The high richness pattern in a small number of families is confirmed. All natural regions values ​​of species richness above 82%, are concentrated in the 50 richest families. Among families with the highest concentration of species in Colombia, figure Metteniusaceae, Brunelliaceae, Siparunaceae, Cyclanthaceae, Heliconiaceae, Myristicaceae, Marcgraviaceae, Gunneraceae, Humiriaceae, Rapateaceae and Tropaeolaceae. A comparison of the richness patterns at the family level in the "megadiverse" countries of South America shows that in Brazil 41 families have the highest species number, especially Compositae (1965), Fabaceae (2694), Poacaeae (1401), Myrtaceae (927), Melastomataceae (1312) and Bromeliaceae (1207). In Colombia 15 families have the greatest species number Araceae (800), Piperaceae (604) and Gesneriaceae (520). In Ecuador there are four families with higher expression of richness, especially Orchidaceae (3630) and Ericaceae (224); this country also has the highest values in the richness indexes (8.2 x10-4 at family level) and (5.5 x10-2 at species level).

Keywords : Biodiversity of Colombia; flowering plants; regional flora; patterns of richness; taxonomic distinctiveness.

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