Stock Photo: Plants Of The Valdivian Temperate Rainforests In Southern Chile Chilean Patagonia
ID 112073164 © Juanvilata | Megapixl.com
The Valdivian temperate forest is an ecoregion on the west coast of southern South America, and thus west to the Andes range, located mostly in Chile and extending into Argentina. It is part of the Neotropical ecozone. The Valdivian temperate rainforests are characterized by their dense understories of bamboos, ferns and bryophytes. Their most characteristic tree species are Southern beeches or Nothofagus spp. also found in New Zealand and Australia,as living remants of the former megacontinent of Gondwana, and also the Alerce tree,Fitzroya cupressoides, the largest tree species in South America and which can be deemed the Southern Hemisphere equivalent to the Sequoya trees. The Valdivian forests are extremely biodiverse and host many endemic species; since they have been only partially surveyed, it is plausible that yet many more species remain undiscovered. Outside the national parks, the Valdivian forests are seriously threatened by logging and hydroelectric power projects. Urgent action is needed to ensure that the totality of what remains of this unique ecosystem is adequately protected.
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