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Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia

On-line version ISSN 0718-686X

Abstract

MACKENZIE, Roy et al. Vascular flora and vegetational types at the long-term socio-ecological studies site, Gonzalo Island, Diego Ramírez Archipelago (56°31’S), Chile. Anales Instituto Patagonia (Chile) [online]. 2020, vol.48, n.3, pp.139-148. ISSN 0718-686X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-686X2020000300139.

The network of Long-term Socio-ecological Research sites within the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (LTSER-Cape Horn) extends today to the Gonzalo Island (56°31’S), Diego Ramírez Archipelago, as its southernmost site. This is also the southernmost island of the American continent and of the sub-Antarctic ecoregion of Magallanes, housing a huge diversity of marine fauna that was intensely exploited after its discovery, exactly 400 years ago. The general objective of the LTSER-Cape Horn network is to detect the impacts of global socio-environmental change and contribute to their mitigation. The specific objective of this work is to provide an updated description of the vascular flora present on Gonzalo Island, a critical monitoring site for the new Diego Ramírez Islands-Paso Drake Marine Park. The Diego Ramírez Archipelago is part of the sub-Antarctic phytogeographic region, harboring vegetation formations that are unique in the Chilean territory. Our work updated the list of vascular plant species of Gonzalo Island, the only one that is permanently inhabited. The records include eight species of vascular plants that comprise all the species of vascular plants previously recorded in the islets as well as in the three major islands of the archipelago (Gonzalo, Bartolomé and North). None of the eight collected species has conservation problems. Our sampling confirmed that there has been no establishment of exotic vascular flora in Gonzalo Island. Even places that have been disturbed near the base maintained by the Chilean Navy had no presence of exotic species. Strict monitoring is recommended to prevent the establishment and dissemination of exotic plants that could potentially arrive on this island, and the Diego Ramírez Archipelago.

Keywords : Diego Ramírez; exotic species; sub-Antarctic ecoregion of Magallanes; sub-Antarctic islands; marine park.

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