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Is the frailejon a life form or an unaffiliated generic?: examining the rank of an endemic paramo plant

por Egleé López,Stanford Zent
(publicado en 2013-01-24 por Liosday Landaburo Sánchez)

Temas relacionados:

AMAZONIA, COMUNIDAD ANDINA, CONO SUR

Países relacionados:

Latinoamérica

Tipo de documento:

Artículo

Publicado y/o Presentado en:

López, E. , Zent, S. (1999) Is the frailejon a life form or an unaffiliated generic?: examining the rank of an endemic paramo plant. Recuperado de: http://www.academia.edu/437786/Is_the_Frailejon_a_Life_Form_or_an_Unaffiliated_Generic_Examining_the_Rank_of_an_Endemic_Paramo_Plant

The debate over the distinction between life form and generic ranks provides the theoretical backdrop of this article. The case of the frailejón folk botanical taxon is described and an attempt is made to define its rank. The frailejón refers to a group of endemic plants of the high altitude páramo ecosystem (between the timberline and the permanent frost zone, 2,800 to 4,700 m a.s.L), distributed throughout the northern Andes mountains of South America. The center of origin and dispersion of this botanical group is the Venezuelan páramo, the precise location of the fieldwork upon which this article is based. Ecological and floristic characteristics of the páramo environment are described and the Paramero people's identification, classification, nomenclature, use, and ecological association of the frailejón ate reviewed. The evidence shows that the frailejón category is botanically polytypic and displays perceptual and taxonomic aspects of both life form and generic ranks. The high salience of this plant from morphological, utilitarian, and ecological points of view may help to explain this structural complexity. This case calls into question the validity and universality of a sharp distinction between the two ranks.

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