Año 12. Nº 1

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As part of a project funded by the Ecosystem Thematic Network (ETN) of the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN), whose focal node in Chile is the National Environmental Commission (Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente, CONAMA), Corporación Taller La Era carried out a depuration of the base cartography of Chilean Vegetation Belts (Luebert & Pliscoff, 2006) and performed a standardization of the classification according to the metadata structure of the ETN. The base cartography of Chilean Vegetation Belts was generated between the years 2003 and 2005 thank to the financial support provided by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Chile), The Nature Conservancy (TNC-Chile), CONAMA y and the Interdisciplinary Program for Biodiversity Studies (Programa Interdisciplinario de Estudios en Biodiversidad, PIEB) of the University of Chile (Luebert & Pliscoff 2006, Pliscoff & Luebert 2006).


The depuration of the cartography of Vegetation belts was conducted in two stages. First redefining the units originally delimited at 1 km resolution in the first version of the cartography of Vegetation Belts with a Digital Model of Elevation with a resolution of 90 m (Rabus et al. 2003). Finally, differences in the coastal limits of continental Chile, and also in national frontiers, present in the first version, were corrected.

The depurated cartographies are available in GIS format at the web site of the National System of Environmental Information (Sistema Nacional de Información Ambiental, SINIA) of CONAMA (http://territorial.sinia.cl/portal/descargas.php) and are a complement to the publication of Luebert & Pliscoff (2006).


The standardization of cartographic units was performed in two ways. First, an equivalence table between the classification of Chilean Vegetation Belts (Luebert & Pliscoff 2006) and the NatureServe Ecological System Classification (NatureServe 2003) was generated. This standardization is available in the final report of the project (Pliscoff & Luebert, 2008) through the web site of the Organization of American States (http://www.oas.org/dsd/IABIN/Component2/Chile/TallerEra.htm). Secondly, the information of Vegetation Belts was incorporated in the database of the ETN standard format, which is available at http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/IABIN/FormatoEstandar/presentacionformatoestandar.html. This will enable making international comparisons among regional classifications of vegetation and ecosystems throughout America.


The authors are grateful to IABIN, Corporación Taller La Era, CONAMA and Carmen Josse (NatureServe) for the input and support during this project.




Luebert, F. y Pliscoff, P. 2006. Sinopsis bioclimática y vegetacional de Chile. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago. 316 p.

NatureServe. 2003. International Ecological Classification Standard: Terrestrial Ecological Systems of Latin America and the Caribbean. Natural Heritage Central Databases. NatureServe, Arlington, VA. 47 p.

Pliscoff, P. y Luebert, F.  2006. Ecosistemas terrestres. En: Biodiversidad de Chile: Patrimonio y desafíos, pp. 78-91. Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente, Santiago.

Pliscoff, P. & Luebert, F. 2008. Digitalización de datos e información, depuración y estandarización de Pisos de Vegetación de Chile. Informe Final IABIN Ecosystem Grant. Corporación taller la Era, Santiago. 177 p.

Rabus, B., M. Eineder, A. Roth & R. Bamler. 2003. The shuttle radar topography mission- a new class of digital elevation models acquired by spaceborne radar. Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 57: 241-262.

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