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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X

Abstract

JAKSIC, FABIÁN M.. Spatiotemporal variation patterns of plants and animals in San Carlos de Apoquindo, central Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2001, vol.74, n.2, pp.477-502. ISSN 0716-078X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2001000200021.

I summarize what is known about the mediterranean ecosystem represented in San Carlos de Apoquindo (33o 23' S, 70o 31' W), a rugged area of 835 ha located ca. 20 km east of downtown Santiago on the Andean foothills. This site attracted numerous researchers during 1976-1990 because of its proximity to Santiago and its relatively protected status. I review the literature, and provide unpublished information on this site. A total of 132 literature entries describe the ecology of San Carlos de Apoquindo, in about 30 topics. The shrub and herbaceous vegetation have been well studied, but little is known about the respective seed banks. Among animals, small mammals, rabbits, and avian and mammalian predators are the best investigated, whereas epigean arthropods, amphibians, lizards, snakes, passerine birds, and scavengers of all types are the least studied. Thematically, interactions from plant/climate, to plant/soil, to plant/herbivore, to herbivore/predator interactions, and to decomposition of animal carcasses, have been addressed. But gross inequalities exist on the thoroughness with which each topic has been researched. The best studied aspects deal with plant/herbivore and herbivore/predator interactions. Up to now, no description existed of soils and climate in the area, which I present in this paper. Taking advantage of the long-term aspect of the research at the site, I highlight temporal variation patterns. And because of the different landscape aspects present at the site, I also highlight data that depict such spatial variability. In general, San Carlos de Apoquindo has contributed greatly to the understanding of ecological processes in central Chile. I call for renewed efforts at studying this site's ecology from an ecosystem perspective

Keywords : mediterranean ecosystem; sclerophyllous vegetation; matorral; animal ecology; animal invaders; spatiotemporal variation; El Niño.

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