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Ecoregions of Argentina

Do you know how many ecoregions there are in Argentina ? There are a total of 18 ecoregions, 15 of them are in continental areas and, the remaining 3, the islands of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Argentine Sea and the Argentine part of Antarctica. This makes this country one of the most biogeographically diverse in the world. Most of these natural regions of Argentina are protected through regional conservation policies, and it turns out that the level of biological organization presented by the Argentine ecoregions, as well as their geographical scale, are adequate for the protection of species and species. ecosystems of Argentina.

If you want to discover what the 18 ecoregions of Argentina are , don’t miss this interesting AgroCorrn article where, in addition, you will learn what the main characteristics of each of them are.

You may also be interested in: What is an ecoregion

What is an ecoregion or ecological region

Before we start talking about the ecoregions of Argentina, let’s clarify what an ecoregion is. An ecoregion or ecological region is a wide extension of territory with relatively homogeneous environmental conditions (such as climate, soil type or geomorphology), where certain natural or semi-natural communities are established that have the vast majority of their species in common and also its ecological dynamics. Furthermore, there is an interaction between the abiotic and the biotic component that is decisive for the long-term conservation of these ecosystems.

Here you can learn more about what is an ecoregion .

High Andes

The High Andes range from the border with Bolivia to the north of the province of Neuquén, occupying more than 14 million hectares. There, on the peaks of the Andes Mountains , there is a fairly arid and cold climate, with strong winds.

The most common vegetation are the coirones (different plants of the Gramineae family ), as well as the iros steppes. The vegetation decreases until it disappears with altitude, while in the valleys with water from the thaw it is more abundant. As for the fauna, we can find, among others, the condor and the red fox.

Antarctica

The Antarctic ecoregion spans much of the Antarctic Peninsula and the Shetland Islands and Orkney Islands, occupying more than 85 million hectares.

The climate of this ecoregion can hardly host flora, however, mainly lichens , mosses and algae can be found . Although the terrestrial fauna is scarce (only some invertebrates), in the sea it is abundant, being able to find the blue whale , the killer whale , the sea elephant, the emperor penguin, etc.

We recommend that you also know what the Antarctic Treaty is and what it establishes .

Patagonian Forests

The Patagonian forests are another of the terrestrial ecoregions of Argentina , with a surface area of ​​just over 6 million hectares, which extend over a somewhat narrow strip from the north of the province of Neuquén to Tierra del Fuego and the so-called Island of the States.

The climate can be cold or temperate and quite humid. Within this ecoregion there are three subregions: The Southern Forests (from the south), the Northern Forests (from the north) and the Insular and High Andean forests. Regarding the vegetation, the temperate and mixed forest stands out (with deciduous and evergreen trees). The most characteristic fauna are two endemic species of deer (one of them the smallest in the world) and the puma.

Fields and undergrowth

This terrestrial ecoregion extends about 3 million hectares, some of them even in Brazil and Paraguay. In Argentina they are located in the east of Corrientes and in the southwest of Misiones.

The humid subtropical climate allows the existence of a wide variety of herbaceous plants , such as red straw and bitter wire. There are also some areas of jungle or gallery forest on the banks of the rivers. Some of the most representative animal species of this ecoregion of fields and scrublands are the puma, the pampa fox, the ñandú and the red-legged chuña.

Humid Chaco

There are also freshwater ecoregions such as the Chaco Húmedo , which is located on the Paraná and Paraguay rivers. Its extension is almost 12 million hectares.

The climate presents an abundant rainfall regime of up to 1,200 mm a year that allows closed forests, gullies, lagoons and savannas dotted with palm trees to coexist. As for the fauna, you can find alligators, monkeys, capybaras, corzuelas, peccaries, boas and an infinity of aquatic birds.

Dry Chaco

The Chaco Seco occupies almost 50 million hectares across almost the entire Chaco plain and the foothills of the mountains that surround it to the west and south.

The typical vegetation of this Argentine ecoregion is xerophilous forests, with some scattered grasslands and some saline. The most emblematic tree is called the Santiago red quebracho, large and strong wood. Among the fauna, we can find the jaguar, as well as the quimilero pig and the tatú carreta (very ancient species that can be considered living fossils).

Delta and Paraná Islands

The Argentine ecoregion called Delta and Paraná Islands encompasses the flood valleys and islands of the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, as well as the Paraná Delta, occupying some e million hectares of wetlands.

We can find both aquatic plant species in rivers, as forests and also grasslands. The forests are made up of willows, alders, laurels, etc., favored by the humidity provided by the waters. The overo lizard is quite common among animal species and a wide variety of water birds, as well as a multitude of fish.

Spinal

With almost 30 million hectares of surface, this Argentine ecoregion called Espinal extends from humid and temperate Mesopotamia to the dry regions that occur in the south of Buenos Aires and the center of the Pampa.

It receives this name because it is formed mostly by thorny forests, typical of dry environments, which alternate with savannas, palm groves and grass steppes. Carnivorous species such as the puma and herbivores such as the pampas deer (almost extinct), are species that we can find here. Also some exotic species such as wild boar and European hare.

Patagonian steppe

The Patagonian Steppe is made up from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean and there are some 54 million hectares that extend through the volcanic fields of Payunia to the north of Tierra del Fuego.

Due to a climate with mediocre rainfall, low temperatures with frosts and winds, the vegetation is scarce, barely a few low shrubs and scattered grasses grow. It has common species of flora and fauna with the Argentine ecoregions of the High Andes and the Puna. There are several endemic species of birds, mammals and amphibians.

Iberá Wetlands

It is another of the freshwater ecoregions that occupies almost 4 million hectares and is made up of estuaries (or swampy areas), wetlands (or wetlands ) and shallow lagoons.

There is different vegetation according to the different environments of the Esteros del Iberá ecoregion : marsh vegetation, forest islets with typical species of the jungle such as laurels, etc. Among the fauna species, we can find an exuberant variety. Thus, we find reptiles such as the yacaré ñato, several aquatic turtles and the curiyú boa. Also numerous birds such as herons, roseate spoonbills, various ducks, etc. In high areas we find the rhea, also raptors such as the pampas harrier or the gliding hawk, among many other animal species.

We advise you to learn even more about the species of Flora and fauna of Argentina with this other AgroCorrn article.

South Atlantic Islands

With just 1.5 million hectares, the South Atlantic Islands comprise several archipelagos : the South Sandwich archipelago , South Georgia Island and the Falkland Islands .

The climate of this ecoregion of Argentina is oceanid, cold and humid and the vegetation consists of steppes with scrubby bushes and grasslands, as well as some areas filled with water and peat bogs. It is worth noting the breeding of marine mammals and seabirds that occurs in the South Georgia archipelago, where elephant seals, golden-fronted penguins and Antarctic sea bears abound.

Argentine Sea

There are also marine ecoregions , and the Argentine Sea is a good example of this. It consists of both the waters that cover the Argentine continental shelf and the coastal or littoral strip, with more than 160 million hectares.

On the coasts we can find cachiyuyo forests, as well as various marine birds and mammals, such as the one-haired wolf or South American sea lion and the Magellanic penguin. In the sea we have abundant phytoplankton and zooplankton that allow a large number of fish to develop. In addition, the southern right whale finds areas suitable for its reproduction there.

Mount of Plains and Plateaus

The Argentinean ecoregion of Monte de Llanuras y Mesetas is made up of the 35 million most arid hectares in the entire country. It begins in Mendoza, goes towards the Atlantic Ocean, then passes between the Patagonian Steppe and the Espinal and ends at the extreme south coast of Buenos Aires, Chubut and Río Negro.

In the stepped and flat plateaus that make up its landscape inhabit the jarillales, which give shelter to gray foxes, guanaco pumas, maras and cuises.

Mount of Sierras and Bolsones

The Argentine ecoregion of Monte de Sierras y Bolsones runs from the north of Mendoza to Jujuy and is parallel to the Andes Mountains, occupying almost 12 million hectares.

It has a climate with low rainfall , typical of the shrubby steppe that we can find there. However, in some areas there is groundwater that allows the growth of some species of trees, such as the carob tree. In terms of fauna, this ecoregion is home to tortoises, guanacos, vizcachas, pumas, the crowned eagle, the vizcacheras boa, etc.

Pampas

La Pampa is an extensive plain of about 39 million hectares with many sediments from the Andes , which makes it very fertile.

The precipitations of this natural region of Argentina are distributed throughout the year and there are mild temperatures. It is a plain in which we can see some rivers with many meanders and also lagoons. Being so fertile, they present a great variety of plant communities (some typical of this place), both herbaceous and arboreal. Among the most common species of fauna, the large herbivores stand out, although today they are almost disappeared, such as the pampas deer.

Puna

This is one of the best-known ecoregions of Argentina , as it is the highest plateau on Earth after Tibet, with an average altitude of 3,800 meters. It occupies approximately 9 million hectares, extending from the north of San Juan to Jujuy.

The most common vegetation of the Puna corresponds to the steppe of small shrubs (such as tolas), although in the most humid areas we find the queñoa. Among its fauna, we find the llama, the puma and some endemics such as the northern huemul, the vicuña, the royal skunk and the Andean cat.

In this other article we talk more about the Puna: what it is, characteristics, flora and fauna .

Paranaense Jungle

Barely 5.8 million hectares of the Paranaense Forest are preserved , while originally there were 100 million distributed between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.

Both humidity and temperatures are high, typical of these latitudes. In Misiones is where the best preserved part is. This part of the Missionary Forest or Paranaense (of the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest) has an exuberant biodiversity of more than 2,000 species of plants. Among the fauna, the harpy, the jaguar, the dwarf corzuela, etc., stand out, but it is considered that there are about a thousand vertebrates in total.

Yungas

Las Yungas, Selva de las Yungas or Oranense Tucuman Forest separate the Chaco forests and the Puna. They are about 5 million hectares of mountainous land in the eastern part of the Andes.

Up to 2,500 mm of rain per year can fall, allowing an extraordinary jungle with an important role in the water regulation of Argentina. Some of the unique animal species of this ecoregion are the red squirrel and the smoker parrot.

Now that you have known all the ecoregions, ecological regions or also known as natural regions of Argentina , we encourage you to know the ecoregions of Peru and their characteristics .

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