Category: Regions

  • Central Chile — Landscape

    The political boundaries of Chile follow relatively natural biogeographic boundaries. To the north is the hyperarid Atacama Desert. The Tacna-Arica region, located along the Peruvian border, experiences the most extreme conditions. Here, a virtual absence of rainfall separates the Peruvian floristic elements of the desert from the Chilean elements. To the east, the Mediterranean-climate region […]

  • Central Chile — Plants

    The age and evolutionary isolation of the Chilean flora is clearly indicated by the large number of families that are largely endemic to the Chilean floristic region, which includes adjacent areas of austral forest in southern Argentina. One family of ferns, the Thyrsopteridaceae, and 10 families of Angiosperms are endemic to Chile in a broad […]

  • Central Chile — Animals

    Mammal diversity in Chile, as in other parts of temperate South America, is low. Severe climatic conditions associated with Pleistocene glacial movements in the Andes may have had a strong impact in reducing the diversity of temperate mammal faunas in South America. Major faunal extinctions also occurred in at the end of the Pleistocene in […]

  • Central Chile — Human History

    The first human settlers arrived in what is now coastal Chile roughly 4,000 years ago. The Araucanian culture eventually became the largest indigenous group in Chile. This society of hunters, gatherers, and farmers lived in small villages and employed irrigation in central Chile. Human impact on the area remained relatively low in the precolombian era. […]

  • Cape Region South Africa — Landscape

    The Cape Region occupies a small area on the southwestern tip of Africa. This landscape has ancient mountain ranges that have weathered over millions of years into acidic sandy soils that are low in nutrients critical to most plants. The Cape Region is renowned for a showy and diverse flora unlike that of any other […]

  • Cape Region South Africa — Plants

    The Cape Region contains arguably the most unique and diverse flora of any temperate area of the world. Its status as a distinct floral kingdom is reinforced by the presence of five endemic families—Geissolomataceae, Grubbiaceae, Penaeaceae, Roridulaceae, and Stilbaceae. Moreover, 193 endemic genera comprise 19.5 percent of the total. Covering an area of only 78,500 […]