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The flora in Huilo Huilo

Ferns are fascinating. After lichens, hepatics and moss, ferns were the first terrestrial vegetation to populate the planet. Many fern species became extinct due to competition with other plants, while others survived by adapting to new environments.

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The first terrestrial plants appeared as green freshwater algae during the Ordovician period (Paleozoica era), 480 million years ago. The first ferns, vascular plants, appeared during the Carboniferous period (Paleozoica era), 360 million years ago.
In later periods gymnosperms, such as conifers, evolved and at a later date flowers, dicots and monocots made their appearance. Today there are 20,000 registered fern species in the world. Ferns are relics of the past, living fossils, and Huilo Huilo is home to many of them. The Huilo Huilo Foundation published the book “Guía de Helechos del Bosque Húmedo Templado”, which contains illustrations of the area’s 38 fern species.

Our temperate rainforest is one of the principal areas of lichen biodiversity in the world. Lichens are very important in the recycling process of minerals, but due to deforestation and the use of herbicides, their numbers have significantly diminished.

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Bryophytes are ancient plants characterized by their small size and unique life cycle. The plants are green autotrophs with cells that produce starch. These organisms are non-vascular, as they lack xylem and phloem tissue. Hepatica, Anthoceros and Moss belong to the Bryophyte division.

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Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. While plants are subject to photosynthesis and animals digest, mushrooms obtain their nutrition from metabolizing non-living organic matter. Mushrooms are fundamental in the organic process, as they break down and “eat” dead plants. They grow in all ecosystems (forest, soil and air) and prefer dark and humid places. Mushrooms come in all sizes and they do not contain chlorophyll.

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The flora in Huilo Huilo

  • T he temperate rainforest in Chile is part of the world's biodiversity reserve. It is home to an extraordinarily rich endemic fauna and flora.