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Entomologists Discover Extraordinary Moth Biodiversity in Katalapi Park

Hugo Benítez, Maria Jose Sanzana Muñoz, Einer Sepulveda Zuñiga and Christian Muñoz-Escobar

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.


"Cata in Kata", Cheers to wine tasting!

Scientists enjoying wine tasting in Katalapi

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.


International Forest Ecophysiology course finishes with the presentation of research projects by the students

Students and Professors of the Forest Ecophysiology Course

The international Course on Forest Ecophysiology was held from January 6-14 at Katalapi Park. Twenty three students from Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Spain participated in the course. Some of the main Plant Ecophysiologists in the world were the invited lecturers. They were Ülo Niinemets (Estonia), Hans Lambers (Australia). Ingo Ensminger (Canada), Ignacio García Plazaola (Basque Country) y Miquel Ribas-Carbó, Jeroni Galmés y Jaume Flexas (Mallorca). This course is part of the graduate programs of Universidad de Concepción, Universidad de La Frontera, and Universidad Austral de Chile. It was coordinated by Drs Luis Corcuera, León Bravo, and Rafael Coopman. Among the topics covered were volatile emissions by plants that affect air quality (such as pines and Eucalyptus), remote measurements for carbon capture performed by the Appleid Ecology Center (CEA), stategies used by plants for mineral nutrients adquisition, resistance to drought, and importance of photosynthesis and respiration in the functioning of the forest. In addition to their lectures, the scientists performed research activities such as the determination of volatiles in Chilean trees, characterization of proteoid roots of Chilean Proteaceae, and recovery of filmy ferns from water loss.

The students will return to their places of origen after 9 intense days of lectures, practical sessions, seminars, and elaboration of research projects. Due to the intense work required by the course, they have to cooperate to finish their tasks. Inevitable, they became good friends with an unforgettable experience in Katalapi.


Center of Applied Ecology uses remote sensing to measure CO2 capture in Katalapi Park

Dr Manuel Contreras, Executive Director of CEA
Helicopter used for remote sensing research

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 final program for the VI Summer Colloquium on Plant Ecophysiology is now available

 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.

 Download final program

Download instructions to arrive to Katalapi