Lichens and Lichenicolous Fungi of Bolivia



Bolivia is a landlocked country of central South America. With an area of 1 098 581 km2, it covers an impressive variety of physiographic regions and is known as ‘South America in miniature’. Bolivia’s unique ecosystems extend between the lowest point in Rio Paraguay river, located at 90 m above the sea level, and the highest peak of Nevado Sajama volcano, which reaches 6542 m above the sea level. Ibisch and Mérida (2004) differentiate 12 ecoregions of Bolivia: Amazon forests (1.1-1.5), Cerrado forest (2.1-2.4), savannas (3.1-3.2), Chiquitano dry forest (4), Gran Chaco (5), Yungas forest (6), Tucuman-Bolivian forest (7), Montane Chaco (8), Inter-Andean dry forest (9), Prepuna (10), Puna and high Andean vegetation (11.1-11.3, 12.1-12.2), which are further divided into 23 subregions (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Map of Bolivia showing ecoregions (after Ibisch & Mérida, 2004; changed).


We have conducted regular field studies in Bolivia since 2004. The collection of study materials is coordinated to ensure homogenous sampling in all the ecosystems dominant in Bolivia. We have collected a total of nearly 15000 herbarium specimens of lichens at more than 100 localities (Fig. 2) situated across a range of ecoregions in the following departments: Beni, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosi, Santa Cruz, and Tarija. Our field studies have mostly been conducted in protected areas such as: Área Natural de Manejo Integrado Nacional Apolobamba, Parque Nacional Carrasco, Parque Nacional Noel Kempff, Parque Nacional Sajama, Parque Nacional y Área Natural de Manejo Integrado Cotapata, Parque Nacional y Área Natural de Manejo Integrado Kaa-Iya del Gran Chaco, Reserva de la Biósfera y Estación Biológica del Beni, Reserva Nacional de Flora y Fauna Tariquía, Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Amazónica Manuripi and Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Ríos Blanco y Negro. The number of records we have gathered so far will considerably increase during the implementation of the project and will form an invaluable herbarium collection. Specimens will be deposited mostly in Poland (KRAM, UGDA) and Bolivia (LPB). 



Fig. 2. Map of Bolivia showing lichen sampling locations.



© 2010 by Adam Flakus, under the LIDER Programme supported by the NCBiR in Poland,
Laboratory of Lichenology, W. Szafer Institute of Botany PAS, Lubicz 46, PL-31-512 Krakow
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