Included here is the Juan Fernandez Islands, which mainly comprises Alejandro Selkirk (Masafuera), Robin Crusoe (Masatierra), Santa Clara and the Desventuradas Islands (San Ambrosio and San Felix).

Fernandezian Subalpine Fern-Grass Heath

Confined to the higher island of Masafuera these heathlands make their appearance at an altitude of about 700 m. They are typically dominated by Lophosoria quadripinnata, the endemic tree fern Dickinsonia externa (Dickinsoniaceae), and the endemic Gunnera masafuerae (Gunneraceae). Other less common shrubs include the endemic Robinsonia masafuerae (Asteraceae), while the field layer commonly includes Pernettya rigida and the endemic eyebright Euphrasia formosissima (Scrophulariaceae).

Fernandezian Alpine Fern-Grass Heath

At an altitude of about 1100 m on Masafuera, the heath becomes more alpine in character and most of the shrubs take on a stunted appearance. At these altitudes there is a significant Magellanian element represented in part by Lagenophora hariotii, Rubus geoides, Uncinia brevicaulis and the endemic Acaena masafuerana (Rosaceae), Galium masafueranum (Rubiaceae) and Luzula masufuerana (Juncaceae). The dominant grasses include the two endemic species Agrostis masafuerana and Bromus masafuerana (Poaceae), while the main fern is Gleichenia quadripartita.  Other endemic species characteristic of this zone includes Abrotanella crassipes, Erigeron luteoviridus (Asteraceae) and Urtica masafuerae (Urticaceae). Several of these alpine heath species, particularly Abrotanella crassipes, can be found on the summit ridge of Los Inocentes at 1500 m. Bryophytes and lichens are also well represented including Thuidium masafuerae and Caloplaca selkirkia.


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Skottsberg, C. 1920-1953. The natural history of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island. Volume II. Botany. Almqvist and Wiksells Bokteyckeri, Upsala.

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