Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning


Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition Experiment

Bogotà, Colombia

Site Manager

Amanda Varela
Pontificia Universidad Janeriana
Transversal 29 No.101 A26
Bogotà D.C.
Telephone: (+57) 1 3208320 ext. 4078

Site Description

Laboratorio de Ecología de Poblaciones y Comunidades as a part of Unidad de Ecología y Sistemática (UNESIS) at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana began their studies in San Cayetano in 1998. This is a private farm located near Bogota, the capital city of Colombia. Agriculture and cattle raising activities are developed in this farm but a big area is conserved with forest. The forest is a montane cloud forest and it is part of a remained continuous area of 80 km along west side of Sabana de Bogota. The forest cover 1460 ha approximately and had no human intervention in the last 40 to 50 years. This site is one of the core sites of the Long Term Ecological Research Network in Colombia.

Site Location

San Cayetano is located in the southwest side of the capital city (Bogota) in the municipio Bojaca, in a side of the road connecting Bogotá to La Mesa. Elevation is 2750 m. Coordinates are lat. 04º37’27.4’’N; long. 74º18’26.8’’W.

Site Area

San Cayetano has a native forest area belonging to an area of 1640 ha of mountain cloud forest.

Site Elevation

Site elevation is in a range of 2600 to 2800 m.

Annual Rainfall

Annual precipitation is 1000 mm approximately. There is a bimodal scheme of precipitation with two raining periods in April-May and October-November. There is presence of fog daily.

Annual Temperature

Annual average temperature is about 12ºC with a daily range.


Soils are predominantly Andisols and Inceptisols, well drained with a high matter content.

Native Forest/Vegetation Types

Vegetation has four well defined strata: grazing, herbaceous, shrublike and arboreal. Predominant vegetation families are Asteraceae, Rubiaceae, Ericaeae, Melastomataceae, Guttiferaceae, Araceae, Winteraceae and Amaryllidaceae. Some important tree genera are Palicourea, Basleria, Piper, Solanum, Weinmannia, Clusia, Tibouchina, Peperomia, Anthurium y Begonia. There is an important quantity of vascular epiphytes, mosses and lichens.

Principal Biome/Ecoregion

This is a mountain cloud forest in the tropical zone

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This webpage is funded by the Soil Science Society of America.

Please contact the GLIDE headquarters (email: if you have any comments or questions.

GLIDE was a project of the International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 98 06437 Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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This page was last updated on February 1, 2005

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