Barclay, Harriet G. Department of Life Sciences, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Last reviewed:July 2015
- Geographic and altitudinal zones
- Species composition
- Climate and soil factors
- Plant forms
- Fauna and human habitation
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A biological community, essentially a grassland, covering extensive high areas in the equatorial mountains of the Western Hemisphere; also spelled páramo. Paramos (Fig. 1) occur in alpine (high-altitude) regions above the timberline and are controlled by a complex of climatic and soil factors peculiar to mountains near the Equator. The richly diverse flora and the fauna of the paramos are adapted to severely cold, mostly wet conditions. Humans have found some paramos suitable for living and use. Because paramos were defined originally in Spanish-speaking countries, no English equivalent has been given to the term. See also: Ecological communities; Ecosystem; Grassland ecosystem
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