Project Details


Páramo plants usually have a restricted distribution in the ecosystem and in order to survive in this extreme ecosystem, they have specific functional traits. The analysis of functional traits is key given their importance for the growth and survival of organisms, however, there is no large-scale analysis of these traits in páramo. Preliminary studies have shown that functional traits are more influenced by extreme weather and climate variability, and that some traits are more influenced by precipitation while others by temperature. However, we still do not know much about the functional ecology of páramo ecosystems.

In addition, it is important to study the páramo ecosystem because this biogeographic province presents the richest tropical high mountain flora in the world. The recent evolution of the páramo, with the last uplift of the northern Andes at the end of the Tertiary and glacial dynamics in the Quaternary, which promoted a high rate of floristic diversification, made it the youngest and coldest biodiversity hotspot globally. It is therefore important to understand the main environmental threats to phytodiversity.

On the other hand, one of the main predictions of climate change is that rising temperatures will lead to a displacement of páramo vegetation to higher altitudes. This prediction is based on what we know about the physiological response of photosynthesis and respiration to increased temperature, but also on palynological records and other studies comparing historical and current plant distributions. However, it is important to remember that past climate change occurred under very different conditions than today; not only in terms of the composition of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but also in terms of anthropogenic pressures on land use - both in land use changes and in the composition of soils as such. It is important to note that the complexity of climate change makes it difficult to accurately predict the response of a given species, community, or functional group, as biotic and abiotic factors do not interact with vegetation in isolation and feedbacks may be created that are not yet known.

Studies of páramo plants are fundamental to understand their ecology and physiology, and thus to be able to predict what will happen under climate change scenarios.


ecology, physiology, functional traits, páramo plants

Commitments / Obligations

- Proyecto de investigación con tesista de pregrado, Valeria Vargas que resultará en un artículo científico
- Un artículo científico sobre rasgos funcionales a nivel país
- Un artículo científico sobre biodiversidad en páramo
- Dos capítulos en el libro “Los Páramos de Colombia. Características biofísicas, Ecohidrología y Cambio climático”
- Búsqueda de financiación para otro proyecto en ecofisiología
Effective start/end date6/1/216/1/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Main Funding Source

  • Installed Capacity (Academic Unit)


  • Bogotá D.C.


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