Resurvey of vascular plants and soil arthropods on the summit of Mount Corazón (Andes of Ecuador) after 140 years

Pierre Moret, Priscilla Muriel, Ricardo Jaramillo, Antonella Bernardi, Katya Romoleroux, Álvaro Barragán, Washington Pruna, Petr Sklenář

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

3 Citas (Scopus)


Opportunities to track environmental changes over more than a century are rare in tropical mountains. Edward Whymper’s survey of flora and fauna on the summit of Mt. Corazón (Ecuador, 4788 m a.s.l.) in 1880 provides a unique opportunity to compare historical observations with the current composition of plant and insect communities on a tropical alpine mountain top. We studied Whymper’s archives and historic specimens in London and Paris, and performed a resurvey of vascular plants and ground beetles (Coleoptera Carabidae) in January 2020. Currently, a large part of the summit area of Corazón is heavily damaged by trampling and stone removal due to mountain tourism, and no vascular plants are present in the deteriorated area on the top of the ridge. However, more species were collected in 2020 than in 1880: 22 of vascular plants vs. 7, and 4 of ground beetles vs. 1. Upslope shifts over 140 years may partly explain this increase in species richness, although the low numbers of Whymper’s sampling may also be due to less skilled collectors and to the presence of permanent snow beds on the summit. The current faunistic and floristic data presented in this contribution can be used as a baseline for future resurveys of Corazón, in order to monitor changes in the species distribution and community composition of its summit area. Owing to the very small area of its superpáramo and to the soil deterioration by trampling along the summit ridge, Corazón is especially exposed to the effects of climate change and to the risk of extirpation of endemic cold-adapted specialists.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)238-245
Número de páginas8
PublicaciónNeotropical Biodiversity
EstadoPublicada - 23 jun. 2021

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© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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