Páramo represents upland tropical vegetation that occurs between the upper limit of continuous, closed-canopy forest (the forest line or timberline) and the upper limit of plant life (snow line) and is typically characterized by tussock grasses, large rosette plants, shrubs and cushion plants. In its narrowest and original sense it just refers to vegetation found in the tropical Andes but here it is used in a broader sense to include comparable high tropical montane vegetation in Africa, Central America, Hawai, Java, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea as suggested by Walter (1973), Lauer (1981) and Monasterio & Vuilleumier (1986).

Páramo in the eastern Andes (Chingaza National Park, Colombia)

Selected References

Cleef, A. M. 1981. The vegetation of the páramos of the Colombian Cordillera Oriental. Dissertationes Botanicae, 61: 1-321.

Fosberg, F. R. 1944. El Páramo de Sumapaz, Colombia. Journal of the New York Botanical Garden, 45: 226‑234.

Hedberg, O. 1951. Vegetation belts of the east African mountains. Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift, 45: 141-202.

Hedberg, O. 1957. Afroalpine Vascular Plants - A Taxonomic Revision. Uppsala

Hedberg, O. 1964. Features of Afroalpine plant ecology. Acta Phytogeographica Suecica, 49: 1-144.

Hedberg, O. 1965. Afroalpine Flora Elements. Webbia, 19: 519-529.

Hedburg, O. 1986. Origins of the Afroalpine flora. In: High Altitude Tropical Biogeography. Eds F. Vuilleumier and M. Monasterio. Oxford University Press and American Museum of Natural History.

Hope, G. S. 1976. The vegetational history of Mt. Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea. Journal of Ecology, 64: 627-664.

Lauer, W. 1981. Ecoclimatological conditions of the páramo belt in the tropical high mountains. Mountain Research and Development, 1: 209-221.

McClintock, E. & D. E. Breedlove. 1977. An Andean páramo: Vegetation of high montane meadow-like grasslands. Pacific Discovery, 30: 14-18.

Monasterio, M. & Vuilleumier, F. 1986. Introduction: High tropical mountain biota of the world. In: High altitude tropical biogeography. Eds. Vuilleumier, F. & M. Monasterio. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Pinzón Pinto, A. Páramo Chingaza. Colombia, Sus Gentes y Regiones, 24: 216-223.

Sklenař, P. & P.M. Ramsay. 2001. Diversity of páramo plant communities in Ecuador. Diversity and Distribution. 7: 113-124.

Smith, J. M. B. 1975. Mountain grasslands of New Guinea. Journal of Biogeograph, 2: 27-44.

Smith, J. M. B. 1980. The vegetation of the summit zone of Mount Kinabalu. New Phytololgy, 84: 547-573.

Smith, J. M. B. & A. M. Cleef. 1988. Composition and origins of the world's tropicalpine floras. Journal of Biogeography, 15: 631‑645.

Walter, H. 1973. Vegetation of the Earth in relation to climate and the eco-physiological conditions. Heidelberg Science Library Volume 15. Springer-Verlag, New York.