The deserts of coastal Peru and northern Chile form a continuous belt
along the western escarpment of the Andean Cordillera for more than
3500 kms from the Peru/Ecuador border (5°00'S) to northern Chile
(29°55'S). Seasonal fog allows for the development of rich fog-zone
vegetation termed, lomas formations.
These unusual plant communities have been the focus of ongoing
research by Field Museum botanist, Michael O. Dillon, and led to the
development of a specimen-oriented database [originally termed
LOMAFLOR] initiated to manage specimen label information for the
plants of western, coastal South America. The database contains ca.
8400 records representing ferns, gymnosperms, monocotyledons and
dicotyledons from the lomas formations.
Collection records from major El Niño events are among those of Dillon
and collaborators, and collection-label data recorded from herbaria:
BM, CGE, CONC, F, FI, GH, HAO, HUSA, HUT, K, M, MO, NY, SGO,
UC, US, USM. The curators and collection managers at these
institutions are acknowledged. The collection of specimen label data
was supported, in part, by grants from the National Science Foundation
DEB 0415573, DEB 9801297, DEB 8513205, and National Geographic Society.
Synonymy for Peruvian species largely follows Brako & Zarucchi
(1993) and for Chilean species, Marticorena & Quezada (1985).
Images of herbarium sheets from a reference collection of lomas plants
at Field Museum were scanned and associated with appropriate database
records. In a few instances, images of significant herbarium sheets
from other institutions have been posted.
We thank Sr. Edgardo Ortiz for the panoramic photograph used in the banner of this webpage.
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