Ecosystem

Ecosystem:  A system that includes all living organisms (biotic factors) in an area as well as its physical environment (abiotic factors) functioning together as a unit

The PPA was formerly six properties that have been managed since 2006 as Proyecto Pichimahuida.


It is about 1800 ha broadly divided into the following categories:

  1. The valley floor (approx. 480 ha), which includes:

    -  about 100 ha wetlands

    -  250 ha of pines (Pinus ponderosa and Pinus contorta) planted under Conaf (National Forest Corporation of Chile) projects in 2004 and 2005;

    - 40 ha rock collapse (the result of a glacier lake outburst flood in December 2000) ;

•   Ancient lake terraces (25 ha) ;

•   Steep slopes (450 ha) ;

  1.   Higher areas – a mixture of small lakes, wetlands, pockets of forest, and exposed and heavily eroded areas.


       The major problems are results of the fires in the mid 20th century, followed by grazing by sheep and cattle, and logging.  There is heavy erosion in some areas, and total soil loss in some of the higher areas and slopes.  Invasive species such as eglantine or sweet briar (rosa mosqueta), magellan barberry (calafate) and other woody shrubs are present in areas where cattle and sheep were previously present. In most areas forests were devastated, that resulted in loss of habitat for native fauna.


        The location is bounded by rivers, by a lake and a glacier. It is adjacent to the San Rafael National Park and the Northern Patagonian Ice Field.  The property hosts a wide variety of birds, and there is a noticeable increase in the numbers of water birds there on a seasonal basis.  Fauna is more limited, although native foxes and small animals (mainly rodents) can be found.  There are signs of the presence of pumas, although none have been seen for many years. It is hoped that removal of unnecessary fences will allow free movement of native animals, including huemules (South Andean deer) that are found in adjacent areas.

Ecosystem:


  1. Description

  2. Animalia

  3. Plantae

  4. Fungi / Protista

  5. Geomorphology

  6. Climate/Weather

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