Biogeographic barriers in the Andes: Is the Amotape-Huancabamba zone a dispersal barrier for dry forest plants?

Catalina Quintana, R. Toby Pennington, Carmen Ulloa Ulloa, Henrik Balslev

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Abstract

We investigate whether the Amotape-Huancabamba zone in the Andes acts as a barrier or corridor for plant species migration. We test this hypothesis based on data on trees, shrubs, and herbs collected in dry inter-Andean valleys (DIAVs) of Ecuador. We found that 72% of the species cross the Amotape-Huancabamba zone in a north-south direction and 13% of the species cross the Andes in an east-west direction. Southern DIAVs concentrate the highest numbers of endemic species. At the regional level we found that 43% of the species are exclusively Andean, while the remaining 57% are found in the Pacific lowlands, the Caribbean, and Mesoamerica. These results showing many species crossing the Amotape-Huancabamba zone in a north-south direction and also frequently found in neighboring lowland and highland ecosystems suggest that the Amotape-Huancabamba zone acts as a corridor for species migration of dry inter-Andean flora.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Volume102
Issue3
Pages (from-to)542-550
Number of pages9
ISSN0026-6493
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Amotape-Huancabamba zone
  • Ecuador
  • IUCN Red List
  • endemism
  • species ranges.

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