Tierra Helada (Spanish for "frozen land"), also known as Tierra Nevada (Spanish for "snowy land"), is a term used in Latin America to refer to the highest places found within the Andes mountains.
The Andes or Andean Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of South America. The Andes also have the 2nd most elevated highest peak of any mountain range, only behind the Himalayas. The range is 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long, 200 to 700 km wide, and has an average height of about 4,000 m (13,000 ft). The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
The Tierra Helada comprises the montane grasslands and shrublands, sunis, punas and páramos between the tree line and the snow line. The term tierra helada is accurate from a climatological standpoint, as its land is indeed "frozen", situated above the snow line. In the northern Andes, the latter is located at an altitude of approximately 15,000 ft (or about 4,500 m).
Montane grasslands and shrublands is a habitat type defined by the World Wildlife Fund. The biome includes high altitude grasslands and shrublands around the world. The term "montane" in the name of the biome refers to "high altitude", rather than the ecological term which denotes the region below treeline.
Suni or Jalca is one of the eight Natural Regions of Peru. It is located in the Andes at an altitude between 3,500 and 4,000 metres above sea level. Suni has a dry and cold weather and there are many glacial valleys.
The Puna grassland ecoregion, of the montane grasslands and shrublands biome, is found in the central Andes Mountains of South America. It is considered one of the eight Natural Regions in Peru, but extends south, across Bolivia, as far as northern Argentina and Chile. The term puna encompasses diverse ecosystems of the high Central Andes above 3200–3400 m.
The Peruvian geographer Javier Pulgar Vidal (Altitudinal zonation) used following altitudes:
Altitudinal zonation in mountainous regions describes the natural layering of ecosystems that occurs at distinct elevations due to varying environmental conditions. Temperature, humidity, soil composition, and solar radiation are important factors in determining altitudinal zones, which consequently support different vegetation and animal species. Altitudinal zonation was first hypothesized by geographer Alexander von Humboldt who noticed that temperature drops with increasing elevation. Zonation also occurs in intertidal and marine environments, as well as on shorelines and in wetlands. Scientist C. Hart Merriam observed that changes in vegetation and animals in altitudinal zones map onto changes expected with increased latitude in his concept of life zones. Today, altitudinal zonation represents a core concept in mountain research.
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by the German-Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist Rudolf Geiger introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.
When the Spanish arrived, they divided Peru into three main regions: the coastal region, that is bounded by the Pacific Ocean; the highlands, that is located on the Andean Heights, and the jungle, that is located on the Amazonian Jungle. But Javier Pulgar Vidal (es), a geographer who studied the biogeographic reality of the Peruvian territory for a long time, proposed the creation of eight Natural Regions. In 1941, he presented his thesis "Las Ocho Regiones Naturales del Perú" at the III General Assembly of the Pan-American Institute of Geography and History.
Tierra caliente is an informal term used in Latin America to refer to places with a distinctly tropical climate. These are usually regions from sea level from 0-3,000 feet. The Peruvian geographer Javier Pulgar Vidal used the altitude of 1,000 m as the border between the Tropical Rain forest and the Subtropical Cloud forest.
Peru is a country on the central western coast of South America facing the Pacific Ocean. It lies wholly in the Southern Hemisphere, its northernmost extreme reaching to 1.8 minutes of latitude or about 3.3 kilometres (2.1 mi) south of the equator. Peru shares land borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile, with its longest land border shared with Brazil.
Tierra templada is a pseudoclimatological term used in Latin America to refer to places which are either located in the tropics at a moderately high elevation or are marginally outside the astronomical tropics, producing a somewhat cooler overall climate than that found in the tropical lowlands, the zone of which is known as the tierra caliente.
In Latin America, tierra fría are mountain locations where high elevation results in a markedly cooler climate than that encountered in the lowlands at a comparable latitude. The combination of low latitude and high altitude — typically between approximately 6,000 ft and 10,000 ft in locations within 10° of the equator — produces a climate that falls into the same category as many oceanic climates found along the west coasts of the continents within the temperate zones — mild temperatures all year round, with monthly averages ranging from about 10°C (50°F) in the coldest months to about 18°C (64.4°F) in the warmest months. Common crops grown in the tierra fría are potatoes, wheat, barley, oats, corn, and rye.
The Yungas is a narrow band of forest along the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains from Peru, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. It is a transitional zone between the Andean highlands and the eastern forests. Like the surrounding areas, the Yungas belong to the Neotropic ecozone; the climate is rainy, humid, and warm.
The Chala or "Coast" is one of the eight natural regions in Peru. It is formed by all the western lands that arise from sea level up to the height of 500 meters. The coastal desert of Peru is largely devoid of vegetation but a unique fog and mist-fed ecosystem called Lomas is scattered among hills near the Pacific coast as elevations up to 1,000 metres (3,300 ft).
Quechua is one of the eight Natural Regions of Peru and is between 2,300 and 3,500 m above sea level. It is composed of big valleys divided by rivers fed by estival rains.
Janca is one of the eight Natural Regions of Peru. It is located in the frozen heights where the condor lives.
Rupa-Rupa or High Jungle is one of the eight natural regions of Peru. It is located between 400 and 1,000 m above the sea level. This region has lots of narrow and long valleys and fluvial mountain trails. The weather is warm, humid, and rainy.
Omagua or low jungle is one of the eight natural regions of Peru. It is located between 80 and 400m above sea level in the Peruvian Amazonia. In this region, there are a lot of rivers that create meanders, swamps and lagoons.
The Climate of Colombia is characterized for being tropical and isothermal as a result of its geographical location near the Equator presenting variations within five natural regions and depending on the altitude, temperature, humidity, winds and rainfall. Each region maintains an average temperature throughout the year only presenting variables determined by precipitation during a rainy season caused by the Intertropical Convergence Zone.
The Southern Andean steppe is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion occurring along the border of Chile and Argentina in the high elevations of the southern Andes mountain range.
The Peruvian Yungas is a tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion in the Yungas of Peru.
The Bolivian Yungas is a tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion in the Yungas of central Bolivia and eastern Peru.
The Central Andean wet puna is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia.
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