General objective To analyze the populations of Espeletia pycnophylla in the El Ángel Ecological Reserve using aerial photogrammetry. Justification The research will focus on the study of the population dynamics of a dominant species of the paramos located in northern Ecuador: Espeletia pycnophylla subsp. angelensis. Some characteristics that justify the importance of the study of this species are: 1. It is a dominant species (Luteyn, 1999 mentioned in Ramsay, 2001). therefore, it contributes to the resilience of ecosystems (Walker et al., 1999).2. It is an endemic species of the Northern Andes (Cross, 2001).3. Frailejones, including Espeletia pycnophylla subsp. angelensis create particular microhabitats, due to the accumulation of dry leaves. that allow the establishment of faunal communities that take advantage of the favorable conditions that are created inside the plant (S0mme, 1986), making them become a key species for the ecosystem.4. The terminal rosette of living leaves and the stem covered with dead leaves of Espeletia pycnophylla subsp. Angelensis provide protection and food to communities of macro-arthropods, mainly at night (Ramsay, 2001).5. They accumulate necromass and have aromatic resins in the leaves that decrease the rate of decomposition (Smith, 1979), turning them into carbon sinks. In addition, they reach ages of over 100 years (Ramsay, 2001), that is, during that time the carbon is stored in plant structures.6. It offers a cultural ecosystemic service, given its aesthetic value that favors the development of tourism in the area (Mena Vásconez and Hofstede, 2006).7. Espeletia pycnophylla subsp. ange/ensis can be called a flagship species to be used in the conservation of the paramos of northern Ecuador.8. Despite being a common, dominant and well-known plant, its life cycle is little studied. Photogrammetry is the science that deals with the study of measurements on photography, considering advantages in its application on the ecology of the moors. It is important to carry out the proposed study since there is very little information regarding the population dynamics of the species that make up the moors. In addition, the application of techniques such as photogrammetry makes it an interdisciplinary study that would generate relevant information for the conservation of the moors.
|Effective start/end date||28/02/18 → 28/02/18|
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