Study area description
The paramo complex Guantiva – La Rusia is located in the western slope of the western Cordillera in an altitudinal range between 3100m.a.s.l. and 4280m.a.s.l.
This complex is located in the provinces of Boyaca and Santander and is part of an extensive corridor formed by paramos and andean forests, located northeast the Santuario de Fauna y Flora Iguaque (Villa de Leyva, Boyacá) up to the foothills of the canyon formed by the Chicamocha river (Onzaga, Santander).
At the time of the study, the botanical exploration of the paramos was far from complete and little was known about the modern vegetation of the paramos. The southern part of the Guantiva paramo, northwest from Belen including the Cerro Pan de Azucar (4375m a.s.l.) was for the first time studied.
The method used for paramo vegetation sampling was based on the Braun-Blanquet or Zürich-Montpellier schools which take the relevé as the main sampling unit. The Braun-Blanquet method is based on dominant species that are grouped in associations and then at a higher level in alliances. This is the standard methodology used in Europe, South Africa, United States, Japan and in the world in general. One of the final goals of the methodology mainly in Europe is to get to nature conservation, which is also the goal in the Colombian paramos.
Institute of Systematic Botany at Utrecht University.
Hugo de Vries Laboratoty at Institude for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics - IBED
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research-NWO, with the Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research-WOTRO