Geometridae biodiversity hotspot would extend at least between San Ignacio del Huinay and Katalapi Park
A group of entomologists from the University of Concepción finalized their stay in Katalapi Park, with the encouraging capture estimate of over 30 species of geometridae (night butterflies associated with native forests), during two capture sessions. "For a similar sampling effort in other places, we are used to capturing around 5 species", said Hugo Benítez, Master´s candidate of the group led by Dr. Luis Parra, "so for this reason we are assuming that we are in a place with extraordinary biodiversity".
During the same field trip to Katalapi, the group also installed traps to capture coleoptera, which they hope to identify later in the laboratory. The capture rate for coleoptera seemed to respond to normal patterns, for which reason the spotlight centered undoubtedly on the geometridae.
The only other place in Chile where geometridae sampling has been done with such abundant results, has been in San Ignacio del Huinay, private protected area located near Hornopirén, approximately 100 kilometers south of Katalapi Park. The working hypothesis for these entomologists is that the area found between both parks would belong to the same "hotspot", the limits of which are still unknown.
The research group will classify and taxonomically categorize the moths during the coming months. The entomologists will return to Katalapi for sampling efforts during other seasons of the year, and so complete the species collection.
As each year in January, Parque Katalapi organized this summer a "Cata in Kata" (wine-tasting in Katalapi). This event is designed for a non-expert public with a desire to learn to appreciate national and foreign wines.
In addition to offering a depth of knowledge and interesting data regarding vitiiculture, our sommelier Hernán "Papurri" Cabrera told ethylic anecdotes which drew applause and laughs from the approximately 30 participants, which included renown foreign researchers who this year were on a stay in Katalapi Park during the date of the event. Participants extolled the quality of the samples included in the event, as well as the environment of camaraderie created.
Researchers of the Center of Applied Ecology (CEA) from Santiago performed fights in a helicopter equipped with a hiperspectral camera with the purpose of applying this technique to remote sensing in the native forest. With this instrument it is possible to recognize the existent vegetation and its efficiency in carbon capture. Dr Manuel Contreras, Executive Director of CEA, explains the importance of performing this work in a cooperative way with scientists from the universities. This multidisciplinary work with various specialists from the academic world plus CEA researchers will allow to use this technique to measure the productivity of the native forest with higher precision. Dr Marino Cabrera from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, remarks that with this work it will be possible to plan in a better way the sustainable use and conservation of the forest.
After this research is finished, there will be a complete inventory of the flora of Katalapi Park. This is of particular importance because Katalapi is within the buffer zone for protection of Alerce Andino National Park.
The VI Summer Colloquium on Plant Ecophysiology will be held in Parque Katalapi on January 15-17, 2011. Distinguished foreign and Chilean scientists, and advanced graduate students will participate in this event. The final program is now available in this page. It includes conferences, short communications and round-table discussions.