Flora


Flora
Approximately, 260,000 ha. Of the park are covered by ice, and therefore devoid of vegetation, in addition to some 95,000 ha of lakes. The total forest area of the park is about 79,000 ha., predominantly made up of lenga and burgundy.
The flora of The Glaciers National Park belongs to the Magellan District, the southernmost district. Among the most important shrubs are notro, with beautiful red flowers, calafate, with yellow flowers and purple fruit, and the elder of the devil in the wetter areas of the forest.


Estepa The Steppe in the National Park has a high adaptation to extreme dry conditions and a good defense against the cold and wind. Grasses are low, compact plants with folded leaves, stiff and covered with thick cutin, which decreases evaporation. Circular and halfmoon bushes, such as the neneo, are common.




Below the high Andean vegetation, to the level of the lakes, forests are dominated by nothofagus.
The upper limit of the forest is on average between 1,000 to 1,100 m high.

Ñire y Lenga
There are tree species within the park:

The lenga (Nothofagus pumilio)
The ñire (Nothofagus antárctica)
The coihue o burgundy (Nothofagus betuloides)

Of these, the lenga is the most widely distributed and occupies the largest share of the woods. They are found usually covered in usnea (lichen), commonly called "old man's beard," because of its shape in the form of long ribbons hanging from the trees.

The mountains that fall into the arms of the Argentino Lake are covered by dense and continuous forests.

In the western areas, as in the slopes of the Mayo Breast and Spegazzini we find the Magellanic forest. In these sectors, from the lake level to a height of 500 m, forests are dominated by the burgundy (Nothofagus betuloides), which in the most favorable conditions can reach from 20 to 30 meters high and one meter in diameter. Accompanying the burgundy are the common canelo, 8 to 12 m high and the elder of the devil. There are also several shrub species.

The herbaceous layer is open and offers uncinia brevicaulis, lapathyfolia valeriana, viola maculata and several species of grasses.

There is only one kind of vine: luzuriaga marginata, which is common on the edge of streams or at the foot of trunks. Magellanic philesia, a climbing plant with bright red flowers, has a very restricted distribution.




Above 1,000 to 1,100 m in height and up to 1500-1600 m (lower limit of permanent snow) are the high semi-deserts.

Semidesierto de Altura This kind of vegetation has very little coverage and mostly consists of xerophytic grasses and dicots cushions, among which are common pads such as bolax and azorella.

In moist areas, where many small meadows with dense vegetation are formed, there are frequently azorella lycopodioides, epilobium australe, epilobium nivale, alopecurus antarcticus, among other species, often accompanied by empetrum rubrum and reichei marsippospermun cf.

In some places, just above the level of stunted beech, there is a belt of shrubs more or less dense and dominated by empetrum rubrum pernettya sp.

Unlike the Northern Patagonian high Andean vegetation, many mulinum species are absent, and instead, there are many sub-Antarctic elements.






El Chaltén - Santa Cruz - Argentina
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