Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A treeless alpine plateau of the Andes and tropical South America.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a treeless grassland ecosystem covering extensive high areas of equatorial mountains, especially in South America

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A high, bleak plateau or district, with stunted trees, and cold, damp atmosphere, as in the Andes, in South America.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A desert plain, bare of trees, at a high elevation, open to the winds, and uncultivated and uninhabited.
  • n. According to Schimper (“Plant-Geog.” (trans.), p. 743), the paramos, lying in the alpine region of the equatorial Cordilleras in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, are essentially steppes, and are distinguished in character from the punas by their moisture. They begin at the limit of dwarf forest and shrub wood, are either treeless or bear isolated gnarled individuals, and are covered with a vegetation of grass and low herbs, with a peculiar taller growth of composite plants, called frailejon (which see). Compare puna.

Etymologies

American Spanish páramo, from Spanish, wasteland.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • This ecoregion is limited by altitude running from lowlands to 3300 meters (m) or ending when the vegetative structure changes to paramo, which is then considered the Sierra Marta paramo ecoregion.

    Santa Marta montane forests

  • A 'paramo' in the Andes is a district some 1700 or 2000 fathoms high, where vegetation ceases, and the cold is piercing.

    Celebrated Travels and Travellers Part 2. The Great Navigators of the Eighteenth Century

  • In Colombia, outside of the capital which enjoys pure agua de paramo you have to be careful with the water.

    Bonus Section – Drinks in Huila « Unknowing

  • South of Bogota an hour the paramo will lie in the dim glare and pools reflect a grey, metallic sky; the light shines with a brightness threatening because it hurts the corners of the eye.

    Lesson from the First Semester in Bogota « Unknowing

  • Huila has all the diversity too: the Magdalena valley is torrid, but it also has the snow capped Nevado del Huila, and part of the most extensive paramo in the Andes: El Paramo de Sumapaz, which stretches north along three departments.

    Al Huila « Unknowing

  • The southern body of water is an ecological restoration of high Andean wetlands like the paramo.

    Quito 2: Back to the Airport

  • Over this long dimension, there are four types of water, a 'chinampa' like area, an urban lake, a high andean lacustrine lake, or paramo, and the tilted planes of water on the ends.

    Quito 2: Back to the Airport

  • The wide topographic range supports an equally wide range of vegetation types with humid montane forest in the valleys and alpine fluvial tundra, and very wet sub-alpine paramo formations at higher levels.

    Huascaran National Park, Peru

  • Overgrazing of the fragile paramo by cattle and sheep has occurred in the western areas of Filo de Plazapamba and Culebrillas Chico, resulting in extensive soil erosion and compaction.

    Sangay National Park, Ecuador

  • A subalpine rain-paramo zone occurs between 3,400 and 4,000 m, with three main vegetation types: Festuca tussock grassland; areas of cushion plants and other low-growing species, and undisturbed stands of bamboo Nuerolepsis sp.

    Sangay National Park, Ecuador

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