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Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales

Print version ISSN 0370-3908


RANGEL-CH., J. Orlando. Biodiversity of Colombia: significance and regional distribution. Rev. acad. colomb. cienc. exact. fis. nat. [online]. 2015, vol.39, n.151, pp.176-200. ISSN 0370-3908.

Based on the geographical pattern of natural regions of Colombia, namely Pacific coast - biogeographical Chocó-region, Caribbean coast, llanos (Orinoco), Amazon and Andean, results of inventories of biodiversity are presented. Flora includes flowering plants, ferns, mosses and lichens. Fauna include reptiles, birds, amphibians and mammals. Plant vegetation includes the terrestrial and aquatic plant communities. The climatic analysis was made from an ecological perspective with detailed analysis of precipitation; ecosystems were defined based on characterizations of biotic components (species, communities) and the complementary aspects related to geology, climate and soils. At the level of the world, Colombia is one of two countries with the highest expression of this renewable natural capital (biodiversity). In flora, it means around 26,500 species of flowering plants. There are 1,600 species of ferns, 976 mosses and 1,700 lichens, these values placed the country as the richest in each of these groups of neotropical countries. The diversity and richness of forests and other vegetation types as shrublands, grasslands, rosette-plants, Colombia reaches about 1,200 different types, which give unique feature as one of the countries with the greatest variety worldwide. The Andean region has the largest concentration of biodiversity; about 11,500 species of flowering plants, 914 mosses, 756 liverworts, lichens 1,396 and 1,050 of ferns, serve as testimony to the enormous concentration of plant richness; in faunal groups, the values of 974 bird species, 484 amphibians, 274 reptiles and 349 mammals, also show this natural region in the first place. The Chocó region of Colombia is richer than the areas of the same biogeographical region in Central America and Ecuador. The Colombian paramo region represented 85% of the richness of flowering plants the entire biogeographical region and about 41% of the species are restricted in distribution to Colombia. In terms of fauna richness Colombia is the richest country in birds (1,834 species) and amphibians (700 species) and reached very important values in other groups like reptiles (512 species) and mammals (492 species).

Keywords : Biodiversity; flora; fauna; vegetation; ecosystems; Colombia.

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