We studied the diversity, population density and vertical and spatial distribution of the species of Columnea in the Río Ñambí natural reserve, southwestern Colombia. We divided the area under study in 100 plots (10 x 10 m) in order to quantify the alpha diversity, the density, and the vertical and spatial distribution pattern of Columnea species. The diversity and population density of each species were analyzed according to the elevation. Fifteen species of Columnea were recorded in altitudes ranging from 1100 to 1500 m.a.s.l. Species density varied with elevation and was highest between 1100 and 1300 m.a.s.l., showing a clumped spatial distribution pattern. Species richness varied between 10 and 12 species per altitudinal belt, while the alpha diversity decreased between 1400 and1500 m.a.s.l. The similarity of species composition was low among sites indicating a high beta diversity for this assemblage. The results of this study showed that the Río Ñambí natural reserve exhibits the highest Columnea richness recorded for a locality to date. We discuss here the differences in density and vertical distribution of Columnea species and their relationship with pollinators and dispersers.
Article in Spanish.