University of Amsterdam (NL) - Páramo Vegetation Research, Sumapaz-Bocagrande-Chisaca paramo complex, Colombia

Latest version published by University of Amsterdam / IBED on Mar 16, 2022 University of Amsterdam / IBED
Publication date:
16 March 2022
CC-BY 4.0

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The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) from University of Amsterdam (UvA) has been working on the Paramos of Colombia since 1970, in collaboration with Colombian researches and collecting information on different aspects of plant ecology. The Sumapaz dataset is generated from five studies. One done by Helmut Sturm and Orlando Rangel in 1985 about the ecology of andean paramos. The second source is the field data from professor Antoine Cleef (collected in different field campaigns between in 1977, 1981 and 1984) some of those were part of his PhD thesis (1981). Also data was provided by the ECOANDES project (vol. 7) which was dedicated only to the Sumapaz area. Another study from Sanchez and Rangel in 1990 provides vegetation information of paramo complexes located close by Bogota. Finally another study by Ernst and Seljee from 1988 provides information about the vegetation of the Bocagrande Paramo. This is a dataset providing information on the occurrence and location of 4494 plant species from the Paramo in this area, collected in 212 releves. For the purpose of the GBIF data-publishing, vegetation releve data were converted into species occurrence data.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 4,494 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Occurrence (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Sturm H., O. Rangel. 1985. Ecologia de los Paramos Andinos: una visión preliminar integrada. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales - Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bogota. 292p.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is University of Amsterdam / IBED. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: e567684d-9998-4604-9790-b0ac00e090c1.  University of Amsterdam / IBED publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Netherlands Biodiversity Information Facility.


Colombia Andean Paramos National Natural Park Sumapaz Páramo vegetation Altitude Réleve method Braun-Blanquet method Diversity Conservation; Occurrence; Observation; Occurrence


Antoine M. Cleef
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
University of Amsterdam
Science Park 904
NL-1098HX Amsterdam
Paola Reyes
  • Metadata Provider
Research Assistent
NLBIF, IBED, University of Amsterdam
Science Park 904
NL-1098HX Amsterdam
Niels Raes
  • Processor
Node Manager
PO Box 9517
NL-2300 RA Leiden
Jeroen Creuwels
  • Programmer
Data manager
PO Box 9517
NL-2300 RA Leiden

Geographic Coverage

Most of the localities of the data set are part of the National Natural Park Sumapaz (PNN Sumapaz) and other are just outside the park borders close to Bogota, such as Chisaca and Bocagrande paramo, but here considered as part of the same area. All located in the Eastern cordillera. The PNN Sumapaz is located between de provinces of Cundinamarca, Meta and Huila, it has two main areas one in the eastern cordillera (called Sumapaz) and the other in the foothills of the "Llanos Orientales" region (called Pie de monte llanero). Chisaca and Bocagrande are both located in Cundinarmarca. In the Sumapaz region of the PNN Sumapaz in Cundinamarca, the municipalities of Arbelaez, San Bernardo, Gutierrez and Bogota are located. And in the "Pie de monte llanero" in Meta the municipalities of Acacias, Guamal, Cubarral, El Castillo, El Dorado, Lejanias and El Uribe are part of the park and finally in Huila only the municipality of Colombia is located within the park borders. The altitudinal range of the PNN Sumapaz goes from 1500m.a.s.l. up to 4360m.a.s.l. but the dataset only includes vegetation information from 3150m.a.s.l. up to 4250m.a.s.l.

Bounding Coordinates South West [3.26, -74.63], North East [4.35, -73.85]

Taxonomic Coverage

All plants identified to species level. Vegetation including phanerogams, bryophytes and lichens.

Kingdom Plantae (Phanerogams), Plantae (Bryophytes), Fungi (Lichens)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1972-01-01 / 1989-01-01

Project Data

No Description available

Title The data is originated from 4 sources, not from a single project. 1. Field data from Antoine Cleef. 2. Andean Paramos Ecology from Sturm H., and O. Rangel 1985. 3. ECOANDES project (vol.7) 2008. 4. Ernst M.T. and Seljee O.J. 1988. Vegetation mapping in Paramo Bocagrande
Funding A. Cleef field data funded by: Institute of Systematic Botany at Utrecht University. Hugo de Vries Laboratoty at Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics - IBED The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research-NWO, with the Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research-WOTRO Sturm H., and O. Rangel 1985, funded by: Universidad Nacional de Colombia Insituto de Ciencias Naturales (ICN) from Universidad Nacional de Colombia Empresa de Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Bogota The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Fondo Colombiano de Insvestigaciones Cientificas (COLCIENCIAS) Hugo de Vries Laboratory (IBED-University of Amsterdam) Ecoandes project funded by: Insituto geografico "Agustin Codazzi" (Colombia), Insituto de Ciencias Naturales-ICN from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Hugo de Vries Laboratory (IBED-University of Amsterdam) and Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research-WOTRO (Grant No. W84-188). Ernst M.T. and Seljee O.J. 1988 funded by Vakgroup Bijzondere Plantkunde, Universiteit van Amsterdam and same funding as for the ECOANDES project.
Study Area Description The PNN Sumapaz is located between the provinces of Cundinamarca, Meta and Huila, it has two main areas one in the eastern cordillera (called Sumapaz) and the other in the foothills of the "Llanos Orientales" region (called Pie de monte llanero). It includes subparamo, grassparamo and superparamo biomas. The area of PNN Sumapaz is considered as the largest paramo area of the country and of the tropical andean region. Also it is an important endemic area with high biodiversity and therefore a priority area for Colombia. At the time of the studies an inventory of the paramos was not complete and more research was needed to get tools to understand the ecology, biogeography and natural history of the paramo. Also for the area little was known about the relationship between the different plant associations. Broader vegetation analysis between different geographic areas of the paramos of the country were also scarce. The ECOANDES project in the southteastern part of the Sumapaz paramo region was the first geobotanical exploration of that area. The study of Bocagrande Paramo was the first one in that area. And the study of Chisaca focused on the phytosociological analysis of the barely known plant-communities growing in peat deposits.
Design Description The method used for paramo vegetation sampling was based on the Braun-Blanquet or Zürich-Montpellier schools which take the relevé as the main sampling unit. The releves were made of zonal and azonal paramo vegetation. The Braun-Blanquet method is based on dominant species that are grouped in associations and then at a higher level in alliances. This is the standard methodology used in Europe, South Africa, United States, Japan and in the world in general. One of the final goals of the methodology mainly in Europe is to get to nature conservation, which is also the goal in the Colombian paramos.

The personnel involved in the project:

Antoine Cleef
  • Author

Sampling Methods

The vegetation sampling was done by the relevé method following the Braun-Blanquet principles. The relevé is a list of the plants in a delimited plot of vegetation, with information on species cover and on substrate and other abiotic features in the plot to make as complete as possible description in terms of community composition. The community vegetation releve data were converted into species occurrence data.

Study Extent The study was done in the National Natural Park Sumapaz (PNN Sumapaz) and two adjacent areas (Chisaca and Bocagrande). In the sampling sites included Andabobos, Las Anillas lake, Cerro Nevado, Lagunalarga, Cortaderal Valley, Cuchilla La Rabona, El Fraile, Gobernador Lake, La Guitarra lake, Lagunitas, Media Naranjas Valley, Sitiales, Sorbedero, La Redonda Lake, Las Garzas lake, Los Tunjos and Santa Rosa. The data was collected in several field trips between 1972 and 1989.
Quality Control The data stored in TurboVeg was checked to identify errors in the information or gaps needed to be filled. The two main fields identified to be checked/completed were the georeference data and the validation of the taxonomy of each species. Also the gaps in terms of the precision of the georeference data were filled.

Method step description:

  1. Releve data was stored in the software TurboVeg and then exported into species occurrence data. The species list used in TurboVeg was checked by an expert to confirm the valid taxonomy (taking into account taxonomy changes, synonyms, etc)(Guido van Reenen, paramo species list). This list was cross-checked with The Plant List (, for the period July 2011 until February 2013 (during this time frame the names where the accepted). Many of the data was lacking a georeference, precision of the georeference data and specific habitat indication. In 2012 to improve the dataset quality, it was completed as detail and precise as possible using several online resources, consultation with experts and revision of the original data. The georeference data was completed mainly with the use of Googlemaps, in collaboration with A. Cleef and checking the original field notes and the publications.

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Cleef A. 1972, 1973, 1977, 2012. Field Data. Cleef. A.M. 1981. The vegetation of the paramos of the Colombian Cordillera Oriental. PhD Thesis. State University of Utrecht. 320pp. Also published as Dissertationes Botanicae, Baud 61, J. Cramer, Vadyz and "The Cuaternary of Colombia", Vol.9. n/a
  2. Sanchez-M., R. and O. Rangel-Ch. 1990. Estudios ecologicos en la cordillera oriental colombiana V. Analisis fitosociológico de la vegetación de los depositos turbosos paramunos de los alrededores de Bogotá. Caldasia 16 (77): 155-192. n/a
  3. Ernst M.T. and O.J. Seljée. 1988. Vegetation mapping in Paramo Bocagrande (Cundinamarca, Colombia). Hugo de Vries Laboratory, University of Amsterdam. Internal Report No. 253. 71 p. n/a
  4. Cleef, A.M., O. Rangel-Ch and H. Arellano, 2008. The paramo vegetation of the Sumapaz massif (Eastern Cordillera, Colombia). In: Studies on Tropical Andean Ecosystems. Vol. 7. van der Hammen., T. (ed). Instituto geografico "Agustin Codazzi" (IGAC), Instituto de Ceincias Naturales - Museo de Historia Natural (ICN), Hugo de Vries-Laboratorium (IBED), Universiteit van Amsterdam and Tropenbos - International, Colombia. J. Cramer. Stuttgart, Germany. 1009p. IBSN 978-3-443-50032-0

Additional Metadata

Purpose Purpose 1: Data in TurboVeg Purpose 2: data converted to species occurrence. Data repatriation to Colombia to be used in actual research.
Alternative Identifiers e567684d-9998-4604-9790-b0ac00e090c1