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Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo

versión On-line ISSN 1853-8665

Resumen

MENDEZ, Eduardo. Growth and covering of Azorella monantha Clos (Apiaceae) in the high Central Andes of Mendoza, Argentina. Rev. Fac. Cienc. Agrar., Univ. Nac. Cuyo [online]. 2011, vol.43, n.1, pp.219-229. ISSN 1853-8665 .

Azorella monantha Clos (Apiaceae) is a cushion plant species growing at elevations from 2900 to 4000 m a.s.l. in the Central Andes of Mendoza, Argentina. Its population comprises individuals of different shapes and sizes. These cushions show highest occurrence on lowland sites and slope bases where they overlap to form more or less continuous coverings or carpets. They present an engulfing phenomenon because their canopies cover all obstacles appearing within the expanse of their growth, such as stone blocks, debris, other plants, and even their own individuals. These covering events indicate the high capacity of cushions to occupy available spaces. In the study area, their diameter lateral growth was 1.15 to 1. 90 cm/year (mean of 1. 52 cm/year). Observation and measurement of the cushions revealed their aggressive behaviour toward obstacles and invasive species temporarily occupying empty open spaces in their canopy. The latter demonstrates their totally opposite nature to that of a true nurse plant, as erroneously attributed to this and other Andean cushions.

Palabras clave : Mountains; Cushion Andean; Covering; Facilitation; Covers; Competition.

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