This biokingdom largely equates to the so-called New World tropics and includes all of Central America, tropical and subtropical South America, the tropical parts of the Florida Peninsula and the islands of the Antilles. The plant life comprises at least 27 endemic families of vascular plants.
Included here are the Florida Keys, the Bahama islands, Bermuda, the Greater and Lesser Antilles, Revillagigeda Islands, Galápagos Islands, Cocos Island, all of Central America, the tropical parts of the Florida Peninsula and the coastlands of Ecuador, Colombia and western Venezuela. The flora is extremely rich with over 600 endemic genera but only one endemic family (Plocospermataceae). Within this BioRegion the following five BioProvinces are recognised:
|Central American||West Indian||Cocos Island||Chocoan||Galapagean|
Arenal Volcano (Costa Rica) in the Cental American BioProvince of the Caribbean BioRegion (Copyright © 2010 Peter Martin Rhind)
Guayana Highlands BioRegion
This spectacular area includes the Guayana Highlands of northern South America east of the Andes extending over southern Venezuela and adjoining regions of Colombia, Brazil and the Guianas. It encompasses an ‘archipelago’ of ancient sandstone plateaus known locally as tepuis such as the famous Mount Roraima which is the highest part of the Pakaraima chain of tepui plateaus. Many of the species found on these plateaus are unique and often endemic to particular tepuis. The rich flora comprises some 8000 species, about half of which are considered endemic. There are approximately 100 endemic genera and three endemic families (Hymenophyllopsidaceae, Sacccifoliaceae and Tepuianthaceae). The area also supports the only neotropical representative of the Dipterocarpaceae (Pakaraimaea diptercarpacea). It appears to be more closely related to African dipterocarps than those of Asia, which fits in well with the tectonic history of Africa and South America. Within this BioRegion the following BioProvince is recognised:
This huged BioRegion comprises the Amazon Basin, much of Guyana, all of Surinam and French Guiana, the coast of eastern Venezuela and adjacent islands. The spectacular flora includes three endemic families (Dialypetalanthaceae, Duckeodendraceae and Rhabdodendraceae) at least 100 endemic genera and over 3000 endemic species. Within this BioRegion the following two BioProvinces are recognised:
Amazonian rainforest in Panacocha in the Cuyabeno Reserve of Ecuador (Copyright © 2010 Peter Martin Rhind)
Included here is the Brazilian Highlands, the Caatinga, the Gran Chaco and Saint Paul’s Rocks. Endemism is extremely high with some 400 endemic genera. Within this BioRegion the following five BioProvinces are recognised:
This extremely lengthy BioRegion comprises the Andes mountain range extending from northwestern Venezuela to northern Chile. It probably represents the hottest hot spot on the planet for biodiversity with several hundred endemic plant genera and many endemic plant familes including Columelliaceae, Desfontainiaceae, Hypseocharitaceae, Ledocarpaceae, Rhynchothecaceae and Stylocerataceae. Within this BioRegion the following two BioProvinces are recognised:
|Northern Andean||Central Andean|
The altiplano of northern Chile in the Central Andean BioProvince (Copyright © 2010 Barbara Jones).