Distribution: Chile (Concepción to Chiloé Island), Argentina (Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapí)
Type locality: Chile
Valdivian Temperate Forests Habitat
This taxon is found in the Valdivian temperate forests, the more hygrophilous vegetation of the mediterranean climate zone of central Chile, representing a biogeographic island, separated from climatically similar areas by the extensive Pacific Ocean barriers and flanking deserts. Rainfall varies so dramatically within the ecoregion, that some of the sub-units can be considered dry forests, with others classified as rainforest.
The Valdivian temperate forest is characterised by its extraordinary endemism (e.g., 90 percent at the species level and 34 percent at the genus level for woody species) and the great antiquity of its biogeographic relationships. However, faunal species richness is only modest, with only 290 vertebrate taxa having been recorded, in spite of the broad latitude niche available.
In general, the southern temperate forests are characterized by flora with one of the highest incidences of pollination and dissemination by animals recorded in any temperate biome, particularly in comparison with the northern hemisphere. In temperate forests of southern South America, the flowers of about 85 percent of woody plant genera are visited and presumably pollinated by animals. This ecoregion has extremely singular bees, in which many important neotropical subfamilies like Meliponinae and Euglosinae are entirely absent, but characterised by the presence of endemic and possibly relict groups such as Xeromelissinae, Diphaglosa, Cadeguala, Corynura, Neofidelia, Manuelia, and Eucerinoda.
There is a highly diverse set of anuran species Many of the amphibians in these forests have very narrow distribution ranges, particularly in the coastal range. Amphibians limited to the Nahuelbuta Range at 38°S include Bullock's False Toad (Telmatobufo bullocki CR), an endemic anuran to the Valdivian temperate forests. Also limited to the Nahuelbuta Range and endemic to the Valdivian temperate forests are Vanzolini's Spiny-chested Frog (Alsodes vanzolinii CR), Cabreria Spiny-chest Frog (Alsodes barrioi VU), and Contulmo Toad (Eupsophus contulmoensis VU).
There are a number of reptilian taxa present in the Valdivian temperate forests, especially within the Tree Iguana group; example ecoregion endemics here are: the Curicen Tree Iguana (Liolaemus curicensis) and the Cyan Tree Iguana (Liolaemus cyanogaster). Endemic mammal species are also biologically interesting because of their kinship to geographically remote groups. This is the case with Dromiciops gliroides, an arboreal marsupial found in this ecoregion, located in the basal trunk of Australasian and American marsupials. Another Valdivian temperate forests ecoregion endemic is the Chilean Climbing Mouse (Irenomys tarsalis). An endangered herbivore found in the ecoregion is the Chilean Guemal (Hippocamelus bisulcus). The Chilean Shrew Opossum (Hippocamelus bisulcus NT) is another Valdivian temperate forests endemic.
- C.Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2010. ''Valdivian temperate forests".. Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC eds.S.Draggan & M.McGinley. rev. 2013
- J. Armesto, R. Rozzi and J. Caspersen. 2001. Past, present, and future scenarios for biological diversity in South American temperate forest: contrasts with North America. In: Future Scenarios of Global Biodiversity. Editors: F. Stuart Chapin, III, Osvaldo E. Sala, Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald. Springer Verlag, N.Y.
Reptiles de Chile, Roberto Donoso-Barros. Ediciones Universidad de Chile., 1966
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