We estimate plant species richness of Bolivian Andean dry valleys applying the species/genus ratio of Compositae to all reported genera for those regions. The results suggest the existence of around 1500 species in the Bolivian dry valleys (12.6% more than the species recorded). A brief biogeographical analysis of our results suggests that the use of species/genus ratio of Compositae to estimate the size of the flora in Bolivian Andean dry valleys should be considered with caution, since the central Andes are geologically very young, and explosive speciation processes have taken place only in some taxa (mainly in Bromeliaceae and Cactaceae). We offer some evidence pointing to the possibility that the Andean dry valleys may possess many more species than suggested by the Compositae species/genus ratio. We discuss the implications of our estimation for conservation of the Andean dry valleys, which only represent 0.7% of the protected area of Bolivia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Latin American Botanical Network (Scholarship RLB-02-D2).
- Andean dry valleys
- Species richness