Water quality determination using soil and vegetation communities in the wetlands of the Andes of Ecuador

Juan Carlos Carrasco-Baquero, Verónica Caballero-Serrano, Ramos-Veintimilla Raúl Armando, Daysi Carrasco-Lopez, Romero-Cañizares Fernando , Rufino Vieira-Lanero & Fernando Cobo Gradín



The bofedales are high Andean ecosystems of great socioeconomic and ecological
importance. The Chimborazo Fauna Production Reserve has 16 wetlands in its jurisdiction, located in the
provinces of Chimborazo, Bolívar, and Tungurahua. The objective of this study was to establish the
relationship between plant species composition and the physicochemical characteristics of water and soil.
To determine the floristic composition, destructive sampling of species was applied, and three sampling
points of 1 m2 were established every 100 m per wetland. At each sampling point, physical-chemical
variables were recorded in situ and in the laboratory for water and soil. The floristic analysis identified 79
riparian species (62 vascular sp, 12 bryophytes, 4 pteridophytes and 1 lichen). In the aquatic environment,
7 vascular plants, recognized as macrophytes, were recorded. The results show a great heterogeneity in
the soil, water and vegetation characters, because they respond to a mineralization gradient (as indicated
by the high values of electrical conductivity and dissolved ions). Phosphorus, sulfate, and particle size
<0.1 were negatively correlated with oxygen and chemical demands, as does pH with NH4 in water and
soil. The Casa Condor wetland is distinguished from the other wetlands by having the highest values for
Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Organic Matter, Nitrates, Nitrites, Total Suspended Solids, and
particle size > 0.2, 1, 0.5, which are shared with the Condor Samana BI and Pampa Salasaca BI wetlands.
Consequently, it is imperative to double efforts to describe the ecology and status of these high Andean
wetlands in order to promote their conservation.

Floristic inventory, HJ-Biplot, Soil sampling, Vegetation communities, Water quality

  • Received: April 02  2023
  • Accepted: May 21 2023
  • Published: May 26 2023