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Distribution patterns, ecological niche and conservation status of endemic Tillandsia purpurea along the Peruvian coast

  • Villasante Benavides, Francisco1, 1
  • Pauca-Tanco, G. Anthony1
  • Luque-Fernández, C. R.1, 1
  • Quispe-Turpo, Johana del Pilar2
  • Villegas Paredes, Luis N.1, 1
  • Siegmund, Alexander3, 4
  • Koch, Marcus A.3, 3
  • 1 Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru , Arequipa (Peru)
  • 2 Universidad Católica San Pablo, Arequipa, Peru , Arequipa (Peru)
  • 3 Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany , Heidelberg (Germany)
  • 4 Heidelberg University of Education, Heidelberg, Germany , Heidelberg (Germany)
Published Article
Plant Systematics and Evolution
Springer Vienna
Publication Date
Jul 26, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s00606-021-01773-0
Springer Nature
  • Living at its dry limits - Tillandsiales in the Atacama Desert


Species distribution modeling and assessment of the possible current conservation status for loma-forming Tillandsia purpurea Ruiz & Pavón in Peru were performed. This species is considered an epiarenic species that lives under hyperarid conditions, where its main source of water and nutrients comes from the fog of the Pacific coast. For the distribution modeling, 63 records from different sources of information were used, including a current field survey. Locations covered the whole range of the species´ known distribution along the Peruvian coast, and respective elevations lie between 0 and 2000 m a. s. l. Likewise, 27 environmental variables were used, including bioclimatic and eco-geographical ones, to determine the corresponding ecological niche and compare between actual and potential distribution. The conservation status was estimated according to the criteria recommended by the IUCN red list. High probability values were obtained predicting the occurrence of T. purpurea and describing respective environmental conditions such as altitudinal distribution between 400 and 1200 m and predominant southwest exposure of habitats. The conservation status of T. purpurea was supposed between "least concern" and near threatened, recommending that this species should be placed into the latter category and considering recurrent threats by direct anthropogenic impact and climate change verified during the field surveys.

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