To protect native plants and local genetic diversity

RESEARCH GROUP on conservation of polylepis forests

Polylepis incana

(Hcda. Inga Alto)

About Us

The populations of the Genus Polylepis in Ecuador are decreasing at alarming rate. In the last two decades, their distribution has been shrunk due to anthropogenic forces. The Polylepis forests has a fundamental ecological role in the highlands, they act as sponge to keep water in these complex ecosystems. They are characterized by their high biodiversity, large numbers of endemic species and isolated distribution throughout the Andes as a result of large-scale destruction. Polylepis forms patches distinct from other woodland habitats, right up to the upper edge of the Pacific slope, near the glaciers.


Fragmentation of paramo forest, because of harvesting for wood products or agricultural expansion, has been changing the original landscape to a mosaic of remnant habitats surrounded by unfavorable areas. In many areas of Ecuador, the natural forest cover has been eliminated and woody patches of various kinds including, Polylepis and Gynoxis, are the only remaining habitat for forest flora and fauna. In this context, the Biotechnology Lab (ESPE) had started some studies from 2004 related to genetic, environmental microbiology and tissue culture of this genus in Ecuador. Our objective is to obtain a basic knowledge about some aspects of the Polylepis natural history in order to create a model of technical rehabilitation of these forests in the Ecuadorian Paramos.


In addition, we had open our scope to other key species (Cedrela and Pseudalopex culpaeus) from the Andes to understand their role in the High Andean Ecosystems.




Claudia Segovia-Salcedo

MSc. PhD candidate

University of Florida

Lab of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics



Research Interest

Systematics, phylogenetic relationships, biogeography of Polylepis (Rosaceae); Tropical plants; conservation biology and stewardship of rare species and natural areas. Science Education, mentoring and Women in Science.





Segovia-Salcedo. M.C. 2011. En Busca del Cedro. Revista ESPECTATIVA. Volumen 6 Diciembre 2011. pp 50.


Segovia-Salcedo M.C.2011. Los bosques de Polylepis estan amenazados. EDucaccion. El Comercio Abril 13, 2011


Segovia-Salcedo, M.C. 2011. Los riesgos de reforestacion de los paramos con especies exoticas: el caso de Polylepis racemosa.  Propuestas Andinas 4(1) Septiembre 2011.


Segovia-Salcedo, M. C. Salinas-Aponte, N. Soltis, D and P. Soltis  2011. Creacion de una biblioteca genomica para el aislamiento de microsatelites específicos para el genero andino Polylepis Memorias del VII CONGRESO DE CIENCIA Y TECNOLOGIA. Sangolqui, Ecuador.


Quijia-Lamina, P. Segovia-Salcedo, C. Jadán, M & K. Proano.2010. Estandarizacion de la metodologia para el conteo cromosomico en Polylepis incana y P. pauta. Revista Ecuatoriana de Medicina y Ciencias Biológicas VIL 1-2 :33-49


Quijia-Lamina, P. Jadan, M  Proano. K. & C. Segovia-Salcedo. 2010.Estudio Citogenetica de las especies del genero Polylepis: P. incana y P. racemosa en el Ecuador.Memorias del VI CONGRESO DE CIENCIA Y TECNOLOGIA. Quito, Ecuador.


Jaramillo, P. Proano K . Jadan M. y C. Segovia-Salcedo. 2008. Medios de induccion, control de oxidacion y contaminacion en el cultivo in vitro de Polylepis microphylla. Revista ESPE Ciencia y Tecnologia. 1(1): 47-60.


Ochoa, V. Jimenez, P. Proano K and C. Segovia-Salcedo. 2008. Genética Poblacional de Polylepis pauta y P. incana en el Paramo de Papallacta. Revista ESPE Ciencia y Tecnologia. 1(1): 71-79.





Monica Jadan MSc


Research Interest

Micropropagation of native and endemic species, culture tissue, secondary metabolist, protoplast fusion.




Maria Augusta Chavez DVM. MSc.

Research Interest

Molecular detection of parasites in mammals.




Alex Debut PhD.

Research Interest

Application of microscopic techniques to systematic and conservation.




Paulina Quijia

Biotech Engineering-MSc. Student SENESCYT Fellow

University of Florida


Research Interest

Plant Cytogenetics . Native Plant Conservation



Natalia Salinas

Biotech Engineering. MSc. Student Fulbright Fellow

Oregon State University


Research Interest

Population Genetics. Plant Conservation



Jose Montalvo

Research Interest

Cytogenetics Polylepis pauta and P. sericea


Francisco Zurita

Research Interest

Cytogenetics Polylepis incana and P. racemosa


Rosa Elena Andrade

Research Interest

Population genetics Polylepis pauta and P. sericea


Alejandra Llerena

Research Interest

Phylogeography of Cedrela


Milton Quinga

Research Interest

Molecular Ecology of Andean Fox



Lorena Rovere

Vladimir Enriquez







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Updated 6/07/2012