ROIG Sergio Alberto
Biogeography of the Monte Desert
F. ROIG; ROIG JUÑENT, SERGIO; CORBALAN, VALERIA
JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS
Año: 2009 vol. 73 p. 164 - 164
The Monte is a biogeographic province covers an extensive area from the subtropical northern part of Argentina at 24 degrees south, to the temperate northern region of Patagonia at 44 degrees south. Within the province, which is about 2000 km from north to south, lies the Monte Desert, on a strip of land that stretches along the eastern side of the Andes Mountains. The definition of the boundaries of the Monte Desert varies among authors. We present a division of the Monte Desert into three botanical districts: Northern, Eremean, and Southern districts. The Northern and the Southern districts are divided into subdistricts. Different hypotheses have been proposed for the origin of the Monte Desert biota. A few plant genera show a remarkable phylogenetic affinity with plants of the North American deserts of Mojave and Sonora. However, this is an exception because most of the remaining plants, arthropods, and reptiles have an origin more closely related to the biota of the Chaco and Patagonia. Second in importance is the group of taxa that originated in Patagonia, and the most enigmatic of all are the paleoendemic groups composed of relictual taxa of Pangeic or Gondwanic origin. The complexity of the biota ofthe Monte desert biota is probably a result of the extensive area of contact between the two South American biotas of South America: Brazilian biota (or tropical biota) and Patagonian biota.