James L. Luteyn
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The páramos of Peru,
locally called "jalcas," are located north of 8°S
latitude in the northern portions of the Cordillera Occidental
and the Cordillera Oriental, in the departments of Piura, Cajamarca,
Amazonas, Lambayeque, San Martín, and La Libertad. Peruvian
páramos are very similar to those of southern Ecuador in
vegetation and general physiognomy. They may begin at the low
elevations of 2900-3100 m especially east of the Río
Marañón, where the cordillera is lower in general
and moister air from the Amazon Basin predominates. The
páramos of Peru seem to be more grass-dominated and less
shrubby overall, with many more rock outcrops. In the region
north of the city of Cajamarca, the páramos are
intensively cultivated up to about 3500 m with corn and potatoes;
between 3500 m and about 3800 m there are now many tree plantations
of Pinus. In the more eastern páramos, around the Jalcas de
Calla Calla (Balsas-Leimebamba road), for example, there is less
population pressure and the páramos may occur as low as
3000 m. In Peru, páramo (jalca) includes a total of
420,000 hectares (I. Sánchez Vega, pers. comm.) or ca.
The only Peruvian national
park within our range that includes páramo is Río
Abiseo, although Huascarán (just south of 8°S latitude
in the Cordillera Blanca) may also have páramo (cf.
D. N. Smith, 1988).
For additional discussion
about Peruvian páramo vegetation, see D. N. Smith (1988),
Weberbauer (1911, 1936, 1945), Young and León (1988, 1990),
Young and Reynel (1997), and Young et al. (1997).
Bibliographic Sources for Locations of Páramos
American Geographical Society of New York. 1949.
Iquitos. Map, SA-18. Provisional edition. A. Hoen and Company,
__. 1938. Piura. Map SB-17. 1:1,000,000.
Provisional edition. A. Hoen and Company, Baltimore.
Carta Nacional. 1:100,000.
Dillon, M. O. & A. Sagástegui A. 1986.
Jalcophila, a new genus of an andean Inuleae (Asteraceae). Brittonia
Herrera de Loja, B. 1980. Revisión de las
especies peruanas del género Gynoxys. Bol. Soc.
Peruana Bot. 8(1, 2): 3-74.
Instituto Geográfico Nacional. Mapas
fisico-político. [Piura 1:500,000; Lambayeque 1:3,000,000;
Cajamarca 1:480,000; La Libertad 1:420,000; Amazonas 1:600,000.]
Smith, D. N. 1988. Flora and vegetation of the
Huascarán National Park, Ancash, Peru, with preliminary
taxonomic studies for a manual of the flora. Ph.D. Dissertation.
Iowa State University, Ames.