Año 3, Nº 2

A new record of Lobelia anceps (Campanulaceae) from northern Chile

Department of Botany
The Field Museum
Chicago, IL 60605-2496, U.S.A.

Instituto de Biología
Universidad Católica
Valparíaso, Chile


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En este trabajo se da cuenta del hallazgo en 1997 de ejemplares de Lobelia anceps L.f. (Campanulaceae) en la quebrada Bandurrias (25°13’LS; 70°26’LW) Prov. Antofagasta, II Región. Conocida previamente hasta Quintero (32°46' LS, 47°31'LW), Región de Valparaíso (V); este registro extiende su distribución, al norte de Chile, en más de 1000 km.

PALABRAS CLAVE: Lobelia, Campanulaceae, Desierto de Atacama, Chile.



A new northern distributional record is reported for Lobelia anceps L.f. (Campanulaceae) from Región II, Prov. Antofagasta, Quebrada Bandurrias [25°13’S; 70°26’W]. This new record marks an extension of over 1000 kms north of the previous station at Región V, Prov. Quillota [32°46'S 47°31'W].

KEY WORDS: Lobelia, Campanulaceae, Atacama Desert, Chile.


The Atacama Desert forms a continuous strip for nearly 1600 km along the narrow coast of the northern third of Chile, in Regions I-IV: Tarapacá, Antofagasta, Atacama, and northern Coquimbo (Dillon & Hoffmann-J., 1997; Rundel, et al. 1991). A catalogue of the vascular flora of the Antofagasta Región (II) has been published (Marticorena et al., 1998) based upon over 8,500 herbarium vouchers from several Chilean institutions (CONC, ULS, SGO). The only species within the Campanulaceae recorded from Región II are Lobelia oligophylla (Wedd.) Lammers [listed as Hypsela reniformis (Kunth) K. Presl in Marticorena et al., 1998] and Triodanis perfoliata (L.) Nieuwl.

In 1997, while exploring the vegetation of Quebrada Bandurrias [Región II, Prov. Antofagasta , 25°13’S; 70°26’W], immediately north of Taltal (Fig. 1 & 2), a small population of Lobelia anceps L.f. (Campanulaceae) was discovered (Fig.3). This new northern record marks an extension of over 1000 km from the previous most northern record in Región V, Quintero [32°46'S 47°31'W] (Fig. 4 ).

Lobelia is represented in Chile by nine species (Marticorena 1990, Lammers 1999), most restricted to the central and southern regions. Lobelia anceps is a small, trailing perennial herb with blue flowers ( Fig. 3 ) and typically encountered in near-ocean, moist habitats at elevations between 10-350 (-550) meters. Until recently, Lobelia alata Labill. was commonly used for this taxon (Marticorena & Quezada, 1985), a misapplied by Wimmer (1953) and reduced to synonymy by Thulin (1983, 1984). Herbarium vouchers suggest that L. anceps is found from Regións V to X, it is most frequently encountered between Concepción and Valdivia [see Appendix I].

In Quebrada Bandurrias, Lobelia anceps was restricted to one moist area a few meters square. Individuals were found growing within dense clumps of Cyperus laevigatus and Juncus acutus. The population was generally restricted to the area within the area of dense vegetation in the photographs taken on 18 November 1997 (Fig. 1) and 16 October 2000 (Fig. 2). In the coastal region between Pan de Azúcar (26°15'S lat.) and El Cobre (~24°10'S lat.), there are perhaps 25-30 formations termed "aguadas" or places where undergound water from the interior Andes reaches the surface in quebradas facing the ocean. This is the situation in Quebrada Bandurrias, where mesic vegetation is confined to areas where the water reaches the surface. Associates growing in Quebrada Bandurrias includes the species listed in Table I derivered from database records (LOMAFLOR, unpublished data).

This new record is a considerable extension of range for Lobelia anceps in Chile; however, it should be no great surprise that this species was discovered outside of its native range in central Chile and the Juan Fernandez Islands (Fig.4). This species can best be described as circumaustral species with disjunct populations of
Lobelia anceps recorded from Madagascar, Tanzania, Uganda, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand (Chatham and Kermadec Islands) (Lammers, pers. comm.). The mode of disjunction which established the isolated population in Quebrada Bandurrias is currently unknown. It may have been established as a result of either a long-distance dispersal event (Muñoz & Flores, 1991) or a vicariant relict which reflects past climate changes along the northern coast of Chile (Dillon & Muñoz, 1993; Troncoso et al., 1980). The seeds are likely salt tolerant given the near-ocean distribution and halophytic associated vegetation.

Table I. Species recorded from Quebrada Bandurrias

Nolana aplocaryoides (Gaudich.) I.M. Johnst. (Solanaceae)
Nolana elegans (Phil.) Reiche (Solanaceae)
Nolana incana (Phil.) I.M. Johnst. (Solanaceae)
Nolana leptophylla (Miers) I.M. Johnst. (Solanaceae)
Nolana linearifolia Phil. (Solanaceae)
Nolana ramosissima I.M. Johnst. (Solanaceae)
Nolana sedifolia Poepp. (Solanaceae)
Nolana villosa (Phil.) I.M.Johnst. (Solanaceae)
Lycopersicon chilense Dunal (Solanaceae)
Reyesia chilensis Gay (Solanaceae)
Cristaria integerrima Phil. (Malvaceae)
Plantago pachyneura Steud. ( Plantaginaceae)
Juncus acutus L. (Juncaceae)
Cyperus laevigatus L. (Cyperaceae)
Atriplex clivicola I.M.Johnst (Chenopodiaceae)
Parietaria debilis G. Forst. (Urticaceae)
Cotula coronopifolia L. (Asteraceae)
Spergularia sp. (Caryophyllaceae)
Werdermannia anethifolia (Phil.) I.M. Johnst. (Brassicaceae)

The data from the herbarium collection is presented here:

Lobelia anceps L.f

CHILE. Región II, Prov. Antofagasta, Quebrada Bandurrias [25°13'S; 70°26'W]. Coastal lomas formations, 80 m. Scandent, trailing herbs; flowers blue and maroon, 19 Nov 1997, M. O. Dillon & C. Trujillo C. 8068 (CONC, F, SGO).


We acknowledge National Science Foundation SGER Grant (DEB-9801297) and the generosity of Marshall and Laura de Ferrari Front for support of the field studies that yielded this record. Sr. Miguel & Sra. Erica Finger, Sr. Jorge Guerra, Sr. Roberto Perucci, Sr. Nano Tay, and Sr. Maximino Villarroel are thanked for logistical support during field studies. We also wish to thank various botanists that have aided in herbarium study, especially Dr. Clodomiro Marticorena, Dra. Mélica Muñoz-Schick, and Dr. Max Quezada. We acknowledge the assistance and cooperation of Dra. Beatriz Palma, Universidad de Las Americas; and Sr. Fernando S. Bascuñan and Sr. Pedro Araya Rosas (CONAF) for help in acquiring collecting permits. Dr. Thomas Lammers is thanked for providing information on the nomenclature and distribution of Lobelia species and providing voucher data from collections housed at CONC. He is also acknowledged for originally confirming of the identity of Dillon & Trujillo 8068 (F). Lastly, we wish to thank Sr. Sebastián Teillier for support and encouragement to publish this in Chloris Chilensis.

Literature Cited

Dillon, M.O. & A. E. Hoffmann-J. 1997. Lomas Formations of the Atacama Desert, Northern Chile, pp. 528-535. In: S. D Davis, V. H. Heywood, O. Herrera-McBryde, J. Villa-Lobos and A. C. Hamilton (eds.), Centres of Plant Diversity, A Guide and Strategy for their Conservation. WWF, Information Press, Oxford, U.K.

Dillon, M.O. & M. Muñoz-Schick. 1993. A revision of the dioecious genus Griselinia (Griseliniaceae), including a new species from the coastal Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Brittonia 45: 261-274.

Lammers, T. 1999. Nomenclatural consequences of the synonymization of Hypsela reniformis (Campanulaceae: Lobelioideae). Novon 9: 73-76.

Marticorena, C. 1990. Contribución a las estadística de la flora vascular de Chile. Gayana, Bot. 47(3-4): 85-113.

Marticorena, C. & M. Quezada. 1985. Catálogo de la flora vascular de Chile. Gayana, Bot. 42(1-2): 1-157.

Marticorena, C., O. Matthei, M.T.K. Arroyo, M. Muñoz, R.A. Rodriguez, F. Squeo & G. Arancio. 1998. Catalogue of the vascular flora of the Second Region (Antofagasta), Chile. Gayana, Bot. 55(1): 23-83.

Muñoz-Schick, M. & J. Flores A. 1991. Hallazgo de la especie Pernettya insana (Ericaceae) alejada de la distribución conocida hasta ahora. Not. Men., Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. 318: 2-6.

Rundel, P.W., M.O. Dillon, B. Palma, H. A. Mooney, S. L. Gulmon, & J. R. Ehleringer. 1991. The phytogeography and ecology of the coastal Atacama and Peruvian Deserts. Aliso 13(1): 1-50.

Thulin, M. 1983. Some tropical African Lobeliaceae. Chromosome numbers, new taxa and comments on taxonomy and nomenclature. Nordic J. Bot. 3: 371-382.

Thulin, M. 1984. Lobeliaceae, Flora of Tropical East Africa pps. 1-59.

Troncoso, A., C. Villagrán & M. Muñoz. 1980. Una nueva hipótesis acerca del origen y edad del bosque de Fray Jorge (Coquimbo, Chile). Bol. Mus. Nac. Nist. Nat. 37: 117-152.

Wimmer, F. E. 1953. Campanulaceae-Lobelioideae II. Teil. Pp. i-viii, 261-814 in R. Mansfeld (editor), Das Pflanzenreich IV.276b. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin.

Please cite this article as: Dillon, M.O. & Trujillo,C. 2000. A new record for Lobelia anceps (Campanulaceae) in northern Chile.Chloris Chilensis, Año 3-Nº2: http:// www.chlorischile.cl