Flora and Vegetation

From a vegetational consideration, the reasons that condition the presence or not of shrub species (without considering the farms) in the Quebrada de Huasquiña are the scarcity of water, the large amount of solar radiation and the marked thermal amplitude that encourage the adaptation of the species to aridity. Hand in hand it can also be understood that certain types of animals are determined according to the presence of their food.

In this way, in the Quebrada de Huasquiña it is possible to find the presence of vegetation formations of the type:

  • Desert scrub with columnar succulents that is the continuation of a plant formation that presents a greater development and floristic richness in ecological situations corresponding to more northern regions, especially southern Peru. It is an environment of cacti par excellence and its most typical community for which references are found is the following: Candelabra (Browningia candelaris); vervain (verbena gynobasis) and Añahuilla – Pupuña (Adesmia spinosissima –Balbisia stitchkinii) (Gajardo, 2006)

      • Andean tropical desert low scrub of Atriplex imbricata and Acantholippia desertícola, extremely xeromorphic very open scrub dominated by Adesmia atacamensis and Cistanthe salsoloides, accompanied by a variable cast of species including Huidobria fruticosa, Dinemandra ericoides and Ephedra breana. Vegetation is generally associated with favorable microtopographic situations, where low humidity accumulates. It receives especially marginal influences from summer rains. Its floristic composition includes Adesmia atacamensis, Argylia tomentosa, Atriplex imbricata, Cistanthe salsoloides, Dinemandra ericoides, Ephedra breana, Hoffmannseggia doellii, Huidobria fruticosa, Urmenetea atacamensis. There are no known references about the dynamics of this vegetation layer, but it can be assumed that plant regeneration is controlled by the occurrence of exceptional summer precipitation events, which are very occasional (Pliscoff, 2004).

      Huasquiña in its immediate surroundings has rugged slopes and abrupt shapes due to its location, whose ravine presented a process of morphological restructuring and break, visually evidenced. The river bed, for its part, is characterized by a broader enclosing that makes possible the existence of a large number of agricultural lands, with a flatter structure and little need for cultivation terraces.

      The town of Huasquiña, for its part, preserves a construction plan similar to a checkerboard, although installed in the lower part of the southwest slope, with a line of stone houses, light material and a few others with cladding, together with farms characterized by producing pear trees, Pomegranates, and vegetables, being worked in a family way and mainly for self-consumption, although commercialization is not ruled out.