Paranán Montane Araucaria Forest

Forests dominated by the endemic or near endemic Araucaria angustifolia (Araucariaceae) are confined to the mountains and plateaus in the Brazilian states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul, and extend into Misiones Province of Argentina. They range from about 500m to 1600 m elevation and are regarded as relicts of a once much more widespread forest. In fact, they support many taxa that were characteristic of the long lost Antarctic flora. Consequently they have considerable interest from an evolutionary perspective. Other canopy species typically include Ocotea pretiosa, O. catharinense, Parapiptadenia rigida, Podocarpus lambertii and the endemic Campomanesia xanthocarpa (Myrtaceae), but these forests vary considerably in both composition and structure. Araucaria angustifolia is a gigantic tree usually forming an emergent layer up to 45 meters high. In the National Forest of São Francisco de Paula in southern Brazil other woody endemics include Acca sellowiana (Myrtaceae), Campomanesia xanthocarpa (Myrtaceae), Drimys brasiliensis (Winteraceae), Ilex microdonta (Aquifoliaceae), Lithraea brasiliensis (Anacardiaceae), Myrica oliganth (Myrtaceae), Myrsine umbellata (Myrsinaceae), Oreopanax fulvum (Araliaceae), Piptocarpha notata (Asteraceae) and Siphoneugena reitzii (Myrtaceae). At ground level herbaceous species include Achyrocline satureoides, Chaptalia nutans, Desmanthus virgatus, Elephantopus mollis, Solanum americanum, Solidago chilensis and Triodanis biflora. Epiphytes may include species such as Tillandsia tenuifolia (Bromeliaceae). Other notable components that may be encountered include Cedrela fissilis, Enterolobium contortisiliqum, Eugenia uniflora, Feijoa sellowiana, Ocotea pulchella, Phytolacca dioica, Rapanea venosa, Sorocea ilicifolia, Symplocos uniflora, Urera baccifera and the endemic Actinostemom concolor (Euphorbiaceae) and Myrocarpus frondosus (Fabaceae).

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