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Research Article
Vascular plants of Punta Ballena: dataset for conservation of an endangered hotspot from Uruguay
expand article infoPatricia Mai, María Zabaleta§, Laura Cappuccio, Antonella Pollero, Eduardo Marchesi§
‡ Universidad de la República, Maldonado, Uruguay
§ Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay
Open Access

Abstract

Punta Ballena is the coastal southern tip of the Sierra de la Ballena, a shear zone of two tectonic plates, located at the beginning of the oceanic coast of Uruguay. Coastal rocky points are especially relevant because of their high plant richness, moreover their vegetation is endangered mainly due to the high tourist – urbanistic development of the coast. This study aimed to determine the list of vascular plants occurring on Punta Ballena coastal rocky point and identify its vegetation communities. Also, to identify endemic species, threatened and of interest for conservation species; and to analyze the species historically documented for the site. Punta Ballena stands out for its remarkable species richness with 427 species, dominated by Asteraceae (82), Poaceae (82) and Fabaceae (26). Five vegetation types were found in the natural area, which allows the combination of species with different adaptations. The site supports five vulnerable species and one endangered species (IUCN), 33 priority species for conservation, two local endemisms and numerous national (13) and regional (45) endemisms. Regarding historical collections, to date Punta Ballena has suffered a loss of 14% of its species, this is likely a direct consequence of the recent urban development. From these historically documented species, we consider five of them to be locally extinct. Due to these overwhelming results, we consider the site a diversity hotspot on the Uruguayan coast. It becomes urgent to generate conservation plans that allow the maintenance of the flora and vegetation communities that are still preserved in the area.

Keywords

coastal rocky point, endangered site, endemisms, historical collections, local extinctions, species list, threatened species, vegetation types

Introduction

The Uruguayan coastline has an extension of 473 km on the la Plata River and 233 km on the Atlantic Ocean (Goso et al. 2011), along which a great diversity of environments such as rocky points, beaches, dune fields, lagoons, psammophilous shrublands and forests have developed (Alonso Paz and Bassagoda 2003). This diversity of environments supports a great floristic richness, with estimations of about a third of the country’s flora species present in a 10 km-wide coastal strip (Alonso Paz and Bassagoda 2006). Among these environments, rocky coastal points are of special relevance because of their high plant richness and particular species composition.

Geologically, the estuarine and oceanic coast of Uruguay shows a great diversity of rocky materials and sediments; where coastal rocky points show a varied geological evolution (Goso and Muzio 2006). Vegetation associated with coastal rocky points is adapted to the environmental stress conditions given by the oceanic influence, such as strong winds, wave action, high salinity levels and permanent insolation (Chebataroff 1942, 1950; Alonso Paz and Bassagoda 2006). Among the numerous rocky coastal points on the coast of Uruguay, only two of them have previous studies that describe their flora and vegetation: Cabo Polonio (Delfino and Masciadri 2005; Masciadri et al. 2006; Picasso and González 2015) and Cerro Verde (Alonso Paz and Bassagoda 2003), and both are protected areas included in the National System of Protected Areas (IMPO 2021). Punta Ballena has been highlighted as a site with high plant diversity in technical reports (Bonifacino s.d., Rodríguez-Gallego et al. 2008) and was proposed as a relevant remnant patch of coastal vegetation (Puppo et al. 2020).

Vegetation occurring on coastal rocky points is exposed to alterations and threats due to the high tourist – urbanistic development that the coastal strip has been experiencing for decades (Alonso Paz 2005; Delfino and Masciadri 2005; Marchesi et al. 2013). Additionally, in these environments, the extraction of plants mainly due to collectors or for ornamental purposes affects their populations (Marchesi et al. 2013). Moreover, Fagúndez and Lezama (2005) considered the vegetation associated with coastal rocky points to be in need of conservation, due to their low occurrence and their presence on reduced surfaces, and suggested that their persistence is seriously threatened unless urgent measures are taken for their protection.

In view of the scarce previous research and the rapid degradation of this unique ecosystem, the aim of this study was to generate a list of vascular plants found on the coastal rocky point of Punta Ballena and to identify their plant communities. In order to contribute to the development of conservation plans, this work sought to identify species that are endemic, threatened and of interest for conservation, as well as analyze the species historically documented at the site, and evaluate which ones are still present and which ones are extinct. The complete plant species list with life form assessment, type of record and reference voucher, vegetation type where each species occurs, geographic origin, conservation status and endemism information is detailed.

Materials and methods

Study area

Punta Ballena is a locality whose identity is given by a rocky coastal point. It is located in Maldonado Department (-34.9132°S, -55.0458°W; Fig. 1A), 12 km west of Punta del Este, the most important touristic seaside resort in the country. This rocky point extends into the outer estuary zone of the la Plata River, which is highly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean (Menafra et al. 2006). According to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, the study area belongs to the “Cfa” climate category, characterized by a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters (Kottek et al. 2006). In the zone of the study area, mean annual temperature is about 17 °C with extreme recorded temperatures of -7 °C in winter, and 39.2 °C in summer in the 2000–2020 period. Mean annual precipitation is ca. 1,146 mm while annual wind velocity is 3,5 m/s coming predominantly from the east (Meteomanz 2020).

Figure 1. 

A: Geographic location of Punta Ballena, Maldonado Department, Uruguay B: Detail of Punta Ballena rocky point. C: Location of vegetation types in Punta Ballena.

Punta Ballena is the coastal southern tip of the Sierra de la Ballena, a high deformation area approximately 4 km wide and exposed to at least 300 km in the southeast Uruguayan territory, which reaches 50 m in height at a distance of 200 m from the coastline (Spoturno et al. 2012). The Sierra de la Ballena, represents a shear zone (Gomez Rifas 1995) considered the tectonic limit between two different terrains, to the west – Terreno Nico Pérez and to the east – Cuchilla Dionisio (Bossi 2003; Goso and Muzio 2006). It extends from Punta Ballena on the coast, to the north-east of the country towards Cerro Largo department (Spoturno et al. 2012). This zone is characterized by a set of metamorphic rocks intensely deformed from materials of granite composition (Goso and Muzio 2006). Rock mineralogical composition is highly variable, composed by granite mylonites (feldspar), quartz mylonites (quartz with very fine muscovite, tourmaline and zircon accessories), philonites and mylonitic porphyry (mainly feldspar and pyrite). Milonite quartz and mylonitic porphyry, due to their resistance to erosion, determine the important outcrop ridges which are highlighted in the study area (Spoturno et al. 2012).

An urbanized and a natural area coexist on the rocky point. The natural area is about 20 ha. (estimated from Google Earth and corrected with measured data of the slope of the area; Figs 1B, 2), in which numerous tourist-recreational activities are carried out, such as fishing, paragliding, rapelling (or abseiling), hiking, and visiting the caves. It is also highly valued as a place of great scenic beauty, and is used as a site for bird and whale watching, especially during the season when Eubalaena australis whales visit the Uruguayan coasts. Punta Ballena has an access road (Carlos Paez Vilaró road, inaugurated in 1978), which separates the eastern-oriented slope from the western-oriented slope. The natural area of the rocky point is surrounded by several parking lots and an area where souvenir stalls are seasonally located. Additionally, Casapueblo, the well-known museum and hotel built by painter Carlos Paéz Vilaró, is located here, and is an architectural icon of the site. Casapueblo alone receives between 800–1500 visitors per day during the high season, and 200–400 people per day the rest of the year (data from Museo Casapueblo, personal comm. 2020). Therefore, Punta Ballena is a highly visited point, considering that it receives many more visitors than the museum itself.

The transformation of the locality of Punta Ballena started in 1896 when this area was bought by Antonio Lussich, an important merchant sailor. Lussich converted a great extension of dunes and hills into an artificial forest, and part of this area is currently an Arboretum (Álvarez 1910). In the last 70 years, Punta Ballena has undergone tourist-urbanistic development initially led by the architect Bonet (López Martínez et al. 2015). Currently, urbanistic development has accelerated with emphasis placed on development by the departmental government of the area (Roche and Gadino 2019) which resulted in a significant deterioration of the natural vegetation of the site (Bonifacino s.d.).

Data collection

The list of vascular plants was determined by the revision of herbarium exciccates and field surveys. The herbaria revised were MVFA, MVJB and MVM (herbaria acronyms follow Thiers 2022). In each herbaria, specimens collected in Punta Ballena were selected. Additionally, systematic surveys were carried out on the rocky point, throughout the remaining natural areas between buildings and more exhaustively in the natural area on the extreme point. Fieldwork was carried out every year from 2013 to 2021, regularly during spring, but in the last three years the site was visited in summer and autumn as well, in order to assess the species that flourish at that time. Taxa were identified by the use of regional and national keys, taxonomic literature and by the revision of herbarium specimens previously identified by specialists. Whenever needed, sterile live collections were cultivated until flowering for identification purposes. Species not documented in national herbaria were collected in order to be housed at MVJB. The systematic classification adopted follows APG IV (2016) for angiosperms, Christenhusz et al. (2011) for gymnosperms, and PPG I (2016) for ferns and lycophytes.

For each species the following information is included: Species name: species nomenclature follows the Flora del ConoSur database (IBODA 2022) and International Plant Index (IPNI 2022). In some cases, the name accepted by the IBODA (2022) was not followed, due to the existence of recent taxonomic studies, such as: for Chascolytrum (Da Silva et al. 2020), Celtis (Zamengo et al. 2020) and Stenachaenium (Gadea 2016). Some genera require a more in-depth review, such as Mimosa (Fabaceae) and Porophyllum (Asteraceae), therefore the oldest accepted names for these genera were used. Moreover, here we prefer to use the name Oxalis macachin Arechav. since the type is based on an exsiccate collected in the region, instead of the name Oxalis brasiliensis Lodd., G. Lodd. and W. Lodd. ex Hildebr. which is based on an illustration.

Type record

Each species was classified according to its presence in Punta Ballena as ‘current’ or ‘historic’. The first category are species observed or collected during fieldwork while ‘historic’ indicate species whose occurrence could not be confirmed in recent years, but there are herbarium specimens from the locality and the date of a reference collection is given. The historic species we consider ‘locally extinct’ are either those species whose main habitat was lost at the study site (therefore they cannot currently grow on the site), or species whose main habitat is still present but they were intensely searched without being found. Considering vegetal alterations and extraction of species in the site, we are certain that they have become locally extinct.

Vegetation type

Local sites with different physiognomy and species composition were identified and georeferenced throughout the rocky point. These sites were studied at different times of the year between 2019 and 2021, and the vegetation type was classified using an adaptation of Fagundez and Lezama (2005) proposal. The surface of each vegetation type was estimated from the georeferenced and mapped polygons over aerial pictures of the study site.

Life forms

We generated a life forms classification based on Punta Ballena’s species (Table 1) since the most used global classifications (e.g. Raunkiaer 1934) generate overlapping categories when applied to species from the subtropical region (Ferreira et al. 2014). It integrates different plant features, such as: life cycle (annual or biennial vs. perennial); characteristic features of particular groups or families (e.g. Cactus, Ferns and Lycophytes); plant habit, architecture or physiognomy; woody development and presence of specialized subterraneous structures. The term ‘therophyte’ followed Raunkiaer (1934); life forms in Cactaceae were adapted from Vázquez-Sánchez et al. (2012); the term ‘vein’ was adapted from Moffett (2000), and ‘shrubs and trees’ from Haretche et al. (2012). For each species, life form was assigned according to the species development in the particular environmental conditions of Punta Ballena (in many cases it does not reflect the typical habit or size of the species).

Table 1.

Classification of plant life form, from Punta Ballena species.

Lyfe cycle Category Sub-categories Definition Category name
Temporal plants Annual or biennial plants. Therophytes
Perennial plants Ferns and Lycophytes Plants with rhizome or globose stems. Rhizomatous Ferns and Lycophytes
Repent or reptant, without thickened stems. Diffuse Ferns & Lycophytes
Erect, without thickened stems. Erect Ferns and Lycophytes
Cactus Shrubby or sub-shrubby, characterized by having cladodes. Cladodius cactus
Erect, the height is greater than the diameter, but does not exceed twice its diameter. Columnar cactus
Globose, the diameter of the stem is greater than its height and the vertical axis is compressed. Globose-depressed cactus
Globose, the stem is about the same height as the diameter. Globose cactus
Veins Scandent, climber or creeper plant. Stems requiring external support to grow upward. Can be woody or not. Many grow decumbent on the ground. Some species that habitually grow as climbers are freestanding when young or develop as shrubs if no supports are available. Veins
Trees, shrubs, arborescent or suffrutex Eudicots or gymnosperms (Woody or sub-woody) Tree and tree-like plants, erect, with one or few well defined stems, partial or totally woody. Trees
Erect, branched at the base or close to it, with a minimum height of 50 cm, aerial woody stems persistent throughout the year. Shrubs
Bushes under 50 cm in height, base and basal stems woody or sub-woody, leaves and stems persistent throughout the year (at least part of it). Suffrutex
Monocots (not woody) Shrub, tree or tree-like monocots. Arborescent monocots
Herbs Grasses and Graminoids Growing in tight groups, the bases of the individual plants touching. Includes plants with short rhizomes. Caespitose grasses or graminoids
Repent, reptant or creeping plant; stems prostrate, decumbent, stoloniferous or with long rhizomes. Diffuse grasses or graminoids
Herbs (excluding grass-like plants) Seasonal herbs Herbs that lose aerial organs and persist in the ground through bulbs, rhizomes or reservation roots (not ligneous). Geophyte seasonal herbs
Herbs that lose aerial organs and persist through xylopodium or ligneous bases, roots or short stems. Xylopodial seasonal herb
Evergreen herbs Repent, reptant or creeping herbs; stems prostrate, decumbent, stoloniferous or with long rhizomes. Diffuse evergreen herbs
Ascendent or erect herbs. Erect evergreen herbs
Rosulate, evergreen herb with its leaves arranged in rosette. Rosulate evergreen herbs

Geographic origin

Geographic origin was assigned from the distribution data available in IBODA (2022), GBIF (2022) and specific data for some species (e.g. Zamengo et al. 2020). Based on the distribution of each species, they were classified as: ‘Native’ (species with wide distribution in Uruguay and nearby countries), ‘Endemic’ (species with a limited spatial distribution within Uruguay or neighboring regions), ‘Cosmopolitan’ (widely distributed in the world), ‘Exotic’ and ‘Exotic – IAS’ (Invasive and Alien Species, according to Masciadri et al. 2010). Moreover, endemic species were differentiated into ‘local endemism’ (species only present in Punta Ballena), ‘national endemism’ (species only present in Uruguay) and ‘regional endemism’ (species whose distribution is framed within the southern area of the Paranaense Province (Cabrera and Willink 1973) or the Paranaense Subregion (Morrone 2001). This area extends from Misiones province (Argentina) to the south, with a southern limit on the coast of Uruguay or Buenos Aires province (Argentina), and involves the following provinces or states: Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil); Ñeembucú, Itapuá and Misiones (Paraguay); Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Buenos Aires (Argentina) and the total area of Uruguay.

Conservation status

Conservation status was defined according to the list of “priority species for conservation in Uruguay” by Marchesi et al. (2013) which is continuously updated by MVOTMA-MGAP-SNAP (2021), and IUCN category according to the Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN 2021) or with specific bibliography of some species or genera (Goettsch et al. 2015; Nuernberg Ronchi et al. 2016; González et al. 2018; Paz Deble et al. 2021).

Results

A total of 427 species were registered on the Punta Ballena rocky point, distributed in 252 genera and 71 families (Table 2). Asteraceae and Poaceae were the richest families (82 spp.); the subsequent families with large contributions were Fabaceae (26 spp.), Cactaceae (14 spp.), Cyperaceae (14 spp.), Iridaceae and Solanaceae (12 spp., each one), Amaryllidaceae and Rubiaceae (11 spp., each one); the remaining families have fewer than 10 species, most of them having fewer than three species (Table 2).

Table 2.

Species list of Punta Ballena, Maldonado, Uruguay. Type record: Cu (Current, observed or collected in last three years), Hi (historic record, and year of collection). Reference voucher: one of the first and most complete specimens deposited in national herbaria (– in case of absence). Vegetation type: HG- halophilic grasslands, HH- hydrophilic herblands, HuC- humid rocky shelters communities; MH- mesophilic herblands, NF- native forest patches, RH- rupicolous herblands, VDA- vegetation of disturbed areas. Life form (definitions in Table 1): Ther- Therophytes; Ferns and Lycophytes (FL): DiFL- Diffuse, ErFL- Erect, RhFL- Rhizomatous; Cactus (Ca): CaCl- Cladodius, CaCo- Columnar, CaDe- Globose depressed, CaGl- Globose; Vein; Tree; Shru- Shrubs; Suff- Suffrutex; Arborescent Monocots- MoSh; Herbs: i) Grasses and Graminoids: GrCa- Caespitose, GrDi- Diffuse; ii) Seasonal herbs: SeGe- Geophyte; SeXy- Xylopodial; iii) Evergreen herbs: EvDi- Diffuse, EvEr- Erect, EvRo- Rosulate (‘ ’ suggested life form, that needs confirmation). Origin: Co – Cosmopolitan; Ex- Exotic; Ex-IAS – Exotic-Invasive and Alien Species; N- Native; En-Endemic, among endemic species: PB- Local endemism of Punta Ballena; Uy- National Endemism; RE- Regional Endemism. Status: Conservation status: Pr – Priority species for conservation in Uruguay, according to Marchesi et al. (2013); LC- Least Concern; VU – Vulnerable; EN – Endanger; according to IUCN (blank spaces in species not evaluated). An asterisk (*) indicates locally extinct species. Species number are shown in brackets after each family.

Group / Family / Species name Type record Reference voucher Veg. type Life form Origin Status
FERNS and LYCOPHYTES
Lycopodiopsida
Selaginellaceae Willk. (1)
Selaginella sellowii Hieron. Cu Mai et al. 609 (MVJB 32665) RH DiFL N
Polypodiopsida
Anemiaceae Link (1)
Anemia tomentosa (Savigny) Sw. Cu Arrillaga et al. 2076 (MVFA) RH RhFL N
Blechnaceae Newman (1)
Blechnum laevigatum Cav. Cu Mai & Zabaleta 595 (MVJB 32561) HuC ErFL N
Dryopteridaceae Herter (2)
Cyrtomium falcatum (L. f.) C. Presl Cu Mai et al. 828 (MVJB 32736) RH RhFL Ex
Rumohra adiantiformis (G.Forst.) Ching Cu Berro 5245 (MVFA) MH RhFL N LC
Ophioglossaceae Martinov (1)
Ophioglossum crotalophoroides Walter Cu Mai et al. 673 (MVJB 32651) RH RhFL N
Polypodiaceae J.Presl & C. (1)
Pleopeltis lepidopteris (Langsd. & Fisch.) de la Sota Cu Berro 5240 (MVFA) RH RhFL N
Pteridaceae E.D.M.Kirchn. (2)
Adiantum raddianum C. Presl Cu Mai et al. 728 (MVJB 32663) HuC ErFL N
Gastoniella chaerophylla (Desv.) Li Bing Zhang & Liang Zhang Cu Lombardo 21098 (MVJB) HuC Ther N
GIMNOSPERMS
Ephedraceae Dumort. (1)
Ephedra tweediana Fisch. & C.A. Mey. emend. J.H. Hunz. Cu Mai et al. 800 (MVJB 32634) MH Suff N LC
Pinaceae Spreng. ex F.Rudolphi (1)
Pinus pinaster Aiton Cu MH Tree Ex–IAS LC
ANGIOSPERMS
Monocotyledoneae
Amaryllidaceae J. St.-Hil. (11)
Beauverdia hirtella (Kunth) Herter Cu Legrand 3926 (MVM 987) RH SeGe En – Uy
Beauverdia sellowiana (Kunth) Herter Cu Mai et al. 663 (MVJB 32543) RH SeGe En – RE
Beauverdia vittata (Griseb.) Herter Cu Legrand 3933 (MVM 1237) RH SeGe En – RE
Ipheion recurvifolium (C.H.Wright) Traub Cu RH, MH SeGe En –RE
Ipheion uniflorum Raf. Cu Mai & Fernández 409 (MVJB 32757) RH, MH SeGe En – RE
Nothoscordum bivalve (L.) Britton var. bivalve Cu Mai 664 (MVJB 32545) RH SeGe N
Nothoscordum montevidense Beauverd subsp. latitepalum (Guagl.) Ravenna Cu Marchesi et al. s.n. (MVJB 32775) RH SeGe N
Zephyranthes americana (Hoffmanns.) Ravenna Cu Mai et al. 814 (MVJB 32548 RH SeGe En – RE
Zephyranthes caerulea (Griseb.) Traub Hi (1907) Berro 3703 (MVFA) SeGe N
Zephyranthes estensis Ravenna Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 3402) RH SeGe En – Uy
Zephyranthes tubispatha (L’Hér.) Traub Cu Mai et al. 709 (MVJB 32547 RH SeGe N
Araceae Juss. (1)
Thaumatophyllum undulatum (Engl.) Sakur., Calazans & Mayo Cu MH MoSh N
Arecaceae Bercht. & J.Presl (1)
Butia odorata (Barb. Rodr.) Noblick Cu RH Tree En – RE Pr
Asparagaceae Juss. (4)
Agave americana L. Cu RH MoSh Ex LC
Asparagus asparagoides Druce Cu Mai et al. 819 (MVJB 32558) RH, MH SeGe Ex–IAS
Asparagus densiflorus (Kunth) Jessop Cu Mai et al. 806 (MVJB 32557) MH EvDi Ex–IAS
Yucca gloriosa L. Cu RH MoSh Ex
Bromeliaceae Juss. (1)
Dyckia remotiflora A.Dietr. Cu Osten 4033 (MVM) RH EvRo N
Commelinaceae Mirb (1).
Commelina erecta L. Cu Legrand 3852 (MVM) MH SeGe N LC
Cyperaceae Juss. (14)
Abildgaardia ovata (Burm. f.) Kral Cu Lombardo 4444 (MVJB 11425) HH GrCa N
Bulbostylis juncoides (Vahl) Kük. ex Herter var. juncoides Cu Berro 3714 (MVFA) HH GrCa N
Carex phalaroides Kunth subsp. phalaroides Cu Arrillaga 459 (MVFA) HH GrCa N
Carex vixdentata (Kük.) G.A.Wheeler Cu Zabaleta et al. 284 (MVJB 32629) HH GrCa N Pr – LC
Cyperus aggregatus (Willd.) Endl. Cu Zabaleta et al. 295 (MVJB 32628) HH GrCa N
Cyperus berroi (C.B.Clarke) Barros Hi 1948 Lombardo 4679 (MVJB) HH Ther En – RE Pr – LC
Cyperus obtusatus (J. Presl & C. Presl) Mattf. & Kük. Cu Zabaleta et al. 250 (MVJB 32618) HH GrDi N
Cyperus polystachyos Rottb. Cu Marchesi et al. s.n. (MVJB 32613) HH GrCa N LC
Cyperus prolixus Kunth Cu Osten 4025 (MVM) HH GrCa N
Cyperus reflexus Vahl Cu Zabaleta et al. 297 (MVJB 32615) HH GrCa N
Cyperus rigens J.Presl & C.Presl Cu Osten 4024 (MVM) HH GrCa N
Eleocharis montevidensis Kunth Cu Zabaleta et al. 281 (MVJB 32621) HH GrDi N Pr
Fimbristylis dichotoma (L.) Vahl var. dichotoma Cu Zabaleta & Mai 252 (MVJB 32631) HH Ther Ex LC
Isolepis cernua (Vahl) Roem. & Schult. Cu Zabaleta et al. 286 (MVJB 32619) HH Ther N LC
Hypoxidaceae R.Br. (1)
Hypoxis decumbens L. Cu Legrand 3932 (MVM) MH GrCa N
Iridaceae Juss. (12)
Cypella herbertii Herb. Cu Mai et al. 797 (MVJB 32642) RH, MH SeGe N
Cypella osteniana Beauverd Cu Mai et al. 920 (MVJB 33085) RH SeGe En – Uy Pr – EN
Gelasine elongata (Graham) Ravenna Cu Marchesi et al. (MVJB 33088) RH SeGe N
Herbertia lahue (Molina) Goldblatt subsp. amoena (Griseb.) Goldblatt Cu Mai & Pollero 923 (MVJB 33089) RH, MH SeGe N
Herbertia pulchella Sweet Cu Lombardo 2765 (MVJB) RH, MH SeGe En – RE
Sisyrinchium avenaceum Klatt Cu Arrillaga 465 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Sisyrinchium laxum Otto ex Sims Cu Mai et al. 730 (MVJB 33086) RH Ther N
Sisyrinchium micranthum Cav. Hi 1956 Arrillaga 432 (MVFA) Ther N
Sisyrinchium minutiflorum Klatt Cu Mai et al. 918 (MVJB 33065) RH Ther N
Sisyrinchium palmifolium L. Cu Mai et al. 863 (MVJB 32739) MH GrCa N
Sisyrinchium rosengurtii I.M. Johnst. Cu Arechavaleta (MVM 18408) MH GrCa En – RE Pr
Sisyrinchium scariosum I.M.Johnst. Cu Lombardo (MVJB 2774) RH GrCa N
Juncaceae Juss. (4)
Juncus acutus L. Cu Zabaleta et al. 302 (MVJB 32740) RH GrCa N LC
Juncus capillaceus Lam. Cu Zabaleta et al. 299 (MVJB 32741) HH GrCa N
Juncus imbricatus Laharpe Cu Zabaleta et al. 300 (MVJB 32742) HH GrCa N
Juncus microcephalus Kunth Cu Zabaleta et al. 301 (MVJB 32743) HH GrCa N
Orchidaceae Juss. (8)
Bipinnula gibertii Rchb.f. Cu Osten 16875 (MVM) RH SeGe En – RE Pr
Bipinnula montana Arechav. Cu Osten 16876 (MVM) RH SeGe En – RE Pr
Bipinnula penicillata (Rchb. f.) Cisternas & Salazar Cu Mai et al. 695 (MVJB 32654) RH SeGe N
Brachystele camporum (Lindl.) Schltr. Cu Arrillaga et al. 2062 (MVFA) RH SeGe N
Brachystele dilatata (Lindl.) Schltr. Cu Marchesi & Izaguirre (MVFA 12239) RH SeGe N
Habenaria montevidensis Spreng. Hi 1922 Osten 16844 (MVM) SeGe N
Skeptrostachys arechavaletanii (Barb.Rodr.) Cu Rosengurtt B-4446 (MVFA) RH SeGe N LC
Skeptrostachys gigantea (Cogn.) Garay Cu Arechavaleta 23 (MVFA) RH SeGe N
Poaceae Barnhart (82)
Agrostis montevidensis Spreng. ex Nees Cu Arrillaga et al. 2075 (MVFA) MH, RH GrCa N
Aira caryophyllea L. Cu Lombardo 3520 (MVFA) RH Ther Ex
Andropogon ternatus (Spreng.) Nees Cu Mai et al. 719 (MVJB 32725) RH GrCa N
Anthaenantia lanata (Kunth) Benth. Cu RH GrCa N
Aristida filifolia (Arechav.) Herter Hi 1955 Rosengurtt B-6410 (MVFA) RH GrCa En – RE
Aristida murina Cav. Hi 1955 Rosengurtt B-6405 (MVFA) RH GrCa En – RE
Aristida pallens Cav. Hi 1973 Izaguirre & Laguardia s.n. (MVFA 12005) GrCa N
Aristida spegazzinii Arechav. Cu Rosengurtt B-6411 (MVFA) RH GrCa N
Aristida teretifolia Arechav. Hi 1944 Rosengurtt B-4671 (MVFA) RH GrCa En – RE
Arundo donax L. Cu MH MoSh Ex LC
Avena barbata Pott ex Link Cu Marchesi & Mai s.n. (MVJB 33060) MH Ther Ex
Bothriochloa laguroides (DC.) Herter Cu Izaguirre & Laguardia (MVFA 12011) MH, RH GrCa N
Briza maxima L. Cu Mai et al. 909 (MVJB 33081) MH, RH Ther Ex
Briza minor L. Cu Mai et al. 919 (MVJB 33082) MH, RH Ther Ex
Bromidium tandilense (Kuntze) Rúgolo Cu Mai et al. 921_B (MVJB 33218) RH Ther N
Bromus auleticus Trin. ex Nees Cu Rosengurtt B-6404 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Bromus catharticus Vahl Cu Rosengurtt B-6384 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Bromus hordeaceus L. Cu MH Ther Ex
Cenchrus longisetus M.C.Johnst. Cu Mai et al. 826 (MVJB 32702) RH GrDi Ex
Chascolytrum brizoides (Lam.) Essi, Longhi-Wagner & Souza-Chies Cu Mai et al. 720 (MVJB 32673) MH GrCa N
Chascolytrum erectum (Lam.) Desv Cu Rosengurtt B-4527 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Chascolytrum rufum J. Presl Cu Arechavaleta 404 (MVM) MH GrCa N
Chascolytrum subaristatum Desv. Cu Rosengurtt B-6399 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Cinnagrostis alba (J. Presl) P.M. Peterson, Soreng, Romasch. & Barberá var. alba Cu Rosengurtt B-6396 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Cinnagrostis viridiflavescens (Poir.) P.M. Peterson, Soreng, Romasch. & Barberá var. montevidensis Cu Mai et al. 827 (MVJB 32709) MH GrCa N
Cortaderia selloana (Schult. & Schult. f.) Asch. & Graebn. Cu MH GrCa N
Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. Cu Zabaleta et al. s.n. (MVJB 33080) MH GrDi Ex–IAS
Danthonia cirrata Hack. & Arechav. Cu Rosengurtt 6388 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Danthonia montevidensis Hack. & Arechav. Cu Rosengurtt 6408 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Danthonia rhizomata Swallen Hi 1955 Rosengurtt B-6387 (MVFA) GrCa En – RE Pr
Dichanthelium sabulorum (Lam.) Gould & C.A. Clark Cu Rosengurtt B-6403 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Digitaria enodis (Hack.) Parodi Hi 1944 Rosengurtt B-9648 (MVFA) GrCa En – RE
Echinochloa polystachya (Kunth) HitcHH. var. spectabilis Cu Marchesi et al. s.n. (MVJB 32696) HG GrDi N Pr
Eleusine tristachya (Lam.) Lam. Cu Mai et al. 809 (MVJB 32684) MH Ther N LC
Elionurus muticus (Spreng.) Kuntze Cu Rosengurtt B-6391 (MVFA) RH GrCa N
Eragrostis lugens Nees Cu Izaguirre & Laguardia (MVFA 11996) MH GrCa N
Eragrostis neesii Trin. Cu Mai et al. 758 (MVJB 32715) RH GrCa N
Eragrostis polytricha Nees Cu Mai et al. 875 (MVJB 33219) RH GrCa N
Eragrostis purpurascens (Spreng.) Schult. Hi 1955 Rosengurtt B-4523 (MVFA) GrCa N
Eragrostis trichocolea Hack. & Arechav. Hi 1908 Berro 5041 (MVFA) GrCa N
Eustachys paspaloides (Vahl) Lanza & Mattei ssp. caribaea (Spreng.) Nowack Cu Rosengurtt B-4677 (MVFA) RH GrCa N
Festuca bromoides L. Cu Rosengurtt B-6402 (MVFA) RH Ther Ex
Festuca sp. Cu RH Ther
Gymnopogon grandiflorus Roseng., B.R. Arrill. & Izag. Hi 1973 Izaguirre & Laguardia (MVFA 12008) GrCa N
Holcus lanatus L. Cu Zabaleta et al. 359 (MVJB 33083) HG Ther Ex
Jarava juncoides (Speg.) Peñailillo Hi 1955 Rosengurtt B-6397 (MVFA) GrCa N Pr
Jarava plumosa (Spreng.) S.W.L.Jacobs & J.Everett Cu Mai et al. 840 (MVJB 32718) MH GrCa N
Lolium multiflorum Lam. Cu Mai et al. 908 (MVJB 33084) MH Ther Ex
Louisiella elephantipes (Nees ex Trin.) Zuloaga Cu Marchesi et al. s.n. (MVJB 33220) HG GrDi N
Melica brasiliana Ard. Cu Montoro s.n. (MVFA) MH, RH GrCa N
Nassella filiculmis (Delile) Barkworth Cu Rosengurtt B-6395 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Nassella melanosperma (J. Presl) Barkworth Cu Rosengurtt B-6398 (MVFA) MH GrCa N
Nassella pauciciliata (Roseng. & Izag.) Barkworth Cu Marchesi (MVFA 7290) MH GrCa En – Uy Pr
Panicum bergii Arechav. var. bergii Cu Mai et al. 846 (MVJB 32700) MH GrCa N
Panicum capillare L. Cu Mai et al. 762 MH Ther Ex
Panicum gouinii E. Fourn. Cu Mai et al. 847 (MVJB 32712) MH GrDi N
Panicum racemosum (P. Beauv.) Spreng. Cu Rosengurtt B 6382 (MVFA) MH GrDi N
Parapholis incurva (L.) C.E.Hubb. Cu Mai et al. 415 (MVJB 415) RH Ther Ex
Paspalum urvillei Steud. Cu Mai et al. 876 (MVJB 33222) MH GrCa N
Paspalum plicatulum Michx. Cu Rosengurtt B-4676-1/2 (MVFA) RH GrCa N LC
Paspalum pumilum Nees. Cu Marchesi et al. s.n. (MVJB 32682) HH GrCa N
Paspalum vaginatum Sw. Cu Mai et al. 848 (MVJB 32701) RH, HG GrDi N LC
Piptochaetium confusum Parodi Hi 1955 Rosengurtt 6400 (MVFA) GrCa En – RE
Piptochaetium montevidense (Spreng.) Parodi Cu Mai et al. 724 (MVJB 32690) MH GrCa N
Poa lanigera Nees Cu Rosengurtt B-6394 (MVFA) RH GrCa N LC
Poa ligularis Nees ex Steud. var. resinulosa (Nees ex Steud.) Fernández Pepi & Giussani Cu Rosengurtt B-6394 b (MVFA) RH GrCa N
Polypogon elongatus Kunth var. elongatus Cu Mai et al. 917 (MVJB 33216) RH GrCa N
Polypogon imberbis (Phil.) Johow Cu Rosengurtt B-6403 (MVFA) HG GrCa N
Polypogon maritimus Willd. Cu Mai et al. 921 (MVJB 33223) RH Ther Ex
Rostraria cristata (L.) Tzvelev Cu MH, RH Ther Ex
Schizachyrium microstachyum (Desv. ex Ham.) Roseng., B.R. Arrill. & Izag. Hi 1903 Arechavaleta (MVM 4251) GrCa N
Schizachyrium salzmannii var. aristatum (Hack.) Peichoto Cu Rosengurtt B-6402 (MVFA) RH GrCa N
Schizachyrium spicatum (Spreng.) Herter Cu Izaguirre y Laguardia (MVFA 11997) RH GrCa N
Setaria parviflora (Poir.) Kerguélen var. parviflora Cu Mai et al. 860 (MVJB 32711) MH GrCa N LC
Setaria vaginata Spreng. Cu Del Puerto 3072 (MVFA) RH GrCa N
Sorghastrum pellitum (Hack.) Parodi Cu Rosengurtt B-6389 (MVFA) MH, RH GrCa N
Sporobolus coarctatus (Trin.) P.M. Peterson & Saarela Cu Rosengurtt B-4445 (MVFA) HG GrCa N
Sporobolus densiflorus (Brongn.) P.M. Peterson & Saarela Cu Rosengurtt B-4436 (MVFA) HG GrDi N
Sporobolus indicus R.Br. Cu Arrillaga 442 (MVFA) HG GrCa N LC
Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walter) Kuntze Cu Mai & Rodríguez-Tricot 934 (MVJB 33211) MH, HH GrDi N LC
Trachypogon spicatus Kuntze Cu Mai et al. 868 (MVJB 32693) RH, MH GrCa N
Typhaceae Juss. (1)
Typha domingensis Pers. Cu HH SeGe N LC
Xanthorrhoeaceae Dumort. (1)
Aloe arborescens Mill. Cu MH MoSh Ex LC
Eudicotyledoneae
Acanthaceae Juss. (2)
Dicliptera squarrosa Nees Cu Berro 3748 (MVFA) MH EvDi N
Stenandrium dulce (Cav.) Nees Cu Mai 608 (MVJB 32540) RH EvRo N
Aizoaceae Martinov (2)
Carpobrotus edulis N.E.Br. Cu RH, MH EvDi Ex–IAS
Tetragonia tetragonoides (Pall.) Kuntze Cu Arechavaleta (MVM 5143) HG Ther Ex
Amaranthaceae Juss. (6)
Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. Cu Fernández et al. s.n. (MVJB 32542) HH SeGe N
Atriplex prostrata Boucher ex DC. Cu Mai et al. 807 (MVJB 32735) HG Ther N
Gomphrena perennis L. Cu Marchesi 653 (MVFA) MH SeXy N
Pfaffia gnaphaloides Mart. Cu Marchesi 643 (MVFA) RH SeXy N
Pfaffia tuberosa (Moq. ex DC.) Hicken Cu Marchesi 7302 (MVFA) MH SeXy N
Salicornia ambigua Michx. Cu Mai et al. 857 (MVJB 32541) RH Suff N
Anacardiaceae R. Br. (2)
Schinus engleri F.A. Barkley var. uruguayensis F.A. Barkley Cu Lombardo 10965 (MVFA) MH Shru N
Schinus weinmannifolius Engl. Cu Rosengurtt B-4688 (MVFA) MH Suff N
Apiaceae Lindl. (9)
Apium prostratum Labill. Cu Del Puerto 3869 (MVFA) RH Ther N Pr
Bowlesia incana Ruiz & Pav. Cu Mai et al. 665 (MVJB 32553) RH Ther N
Eryngium aff. paniculatum Cav. & Delaroche Cu Arrillaga 2071 (MVFA) MH EvRo En – RE
Eryngium elegans Cham. & Schltdl. Cu Mai et al. 832 (MVJB 32551) MH EvRo N
Eryngium horridum Malme Cu Arrillaga et al. 2064 (MVFA) MH EvRo N
Eryngium nudicaule Lam. Cu Mai et al. 687 (MVJB 32554) MH EvRo N
Eryngium sanguisorba Cham. & Schltdl. Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 3404) RH, MH EvEr N
Hydrocotyle bonariensis Lam. Cu Mai et al. 837 (MVJB 32552) RH EvDi N LC
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Glaz.) Affolter Cu Mai et al. 777 (MVJB 32555) HH ‘SeGe’ N
Asclepiadaceae Borkh (7).
Asclepias mellodora A.St.-Hil. Hi 1963 Marchesi 710 (MVFA) SeXy N
Mandevilla petraea (A. St.-Hil.) Pichon Hi 1907 Berro 3662 (MVFA) SeXy N
Oxypetalum arnottianum H. Buek Hi 1967 Marchesi (MVFA 7293) SeXy N
Oxypetalum marchesii C. Ezcurra & A. González Cu Lombardo et al. 10952 (MVFA) RH, MH EvDi En – Uy VU
*Oxypetalum nigricans (Decne.) Liede & Meve Hi [1903] Arechavaleta 2529 (MVM) SeXy En – Uy
Oxypetalum pannosum Decne. Hi 1963 Marchesi 667 (MVFA) EvDi N
Oxypetalum tomentosum Wight ex Hook. & Arn. Cu Marchesi (MVFA 7292) RH, MH EvDi N
Asteraceae Bercht. & J. Presl (82)
Acanthospermum australe (Loefl.) Kuntze Cu Mai et al. 815 (MVJB 32576) RH, MH Ther N
Acanthostyles buniifolius (Hook. & Arn.) R.M. King & H. Rob. Cu Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM) MH Shru N
Achyrocline flaccida DC. Cu Mai et al. 816 (MVJB 32575) RH EvEr N
Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) DC. Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 3424) MH EvEr N
Acmella decumbens (Sm.) R.K.Jansen Cu Marchesi 638 (MVFA) RH, MH EvDi N
Aldama nudicaulis (Baker) E.E.Schill. & Panero Cu Izaguirre & Marchesi (MVFA 12237) RH, MH EvDi En – RE Pr
Aspilia montevidensis (Spreng.) Kuntze Cu Osten 17071 (MVM) RH, MH EvDi N
Baccharis aliena (Spreng.) Joch.Müll. Hi 1956 Arrillaga 454 (MVFA) Shru N
Baccharis arenaria Baker Hi 1956 Arrillaga 430 (MVFA) Suff En – RE
Baccharis articulata Pers. Cu Osten 3888 (MVM) RH Suff N
Baccharis cultrata Baker Cu Arechavaleta 3104 (MVM) VDA Suff N
Baccharis dracunculifolia DC. Cu Mai et al. 820 (MVJB 32569) MH Shru N
Baccharis gnaphalioides Spreng. Hi 1942 Lombardo 6202 (MVJB) EvDi En – RE
Baccharis microdonta DC. Cu Rosengurtt B-4347 (MVM 11067, MVFA) MH Shru N
Baccharis ochracea Spreng. Hi 1907 Berro 3584 (MVFA) Suff N
Baccharis patens Baker Cu Del Puerto & Codina (MVFA 9309) RH Suff En – RE
Baccharis sessiliflora Vahl Cu Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM 20900) RH Suff N
Baccharis spicata (Lam.) Baill. Cu Mai et al. 822 (MVJB 32577) RH, MH Shru N
Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC. Cu Mai et al. 823 (MVJB 32573) MH Suff N
Baccharis vulneraria Baker Hi 1942 Lombardo s.n. (MVJB 7491) Suff N
Bidens pilosa L. Cu Fernandez et al. s.n. (MVJB 32756) VDA Ther N
Calea uniflora Less. Cu Del Puerto 3865 (MVFA) MH SeXy N
Carduus pycnocephalus L. Cu Mai et al. 824 (MVJB 32571) MH Ther Ex
Chaptalia exscapa (Pers.) Baker Cu Lombardo 6252 (MVJB) RH EvRo N
Chaptalia integerrima (Vell.) Burkart Cu Rosengurtt B-4686 (MVFA) MH EvRo N
Chaptalia sinuata (Less.) Baker Cu Mai 603 (MVJB 32601) RH EvRo N
Chevreulia sarmentosa (Pers.) S.F. Blake Cu Fernández et al. s.n. (MVJB 32606) MH EvDi N
Chromolaena caaguazuensis (Hieron.) R.M. King & H. Rob. Hi 1948 Lombardo 6093 p.p. (MVJB 10362) MH SeXy N
Chromolaena hirsuta (Hook. & Arn.) R.M.King & H.Rob. Cu Berro 5036 (MVFA) MH SeXy N
Chromolaena squarrulosa (Hook. & Arn.) R.M.King & H.Robinson Cu Berro 5035 (MVFA) MH SeXy N
Chrysolaena flexuosa (Sims) H. Rob. Cu Marchesi s.n. (MVFA 7391) MH SeXy N
Coleostephus myconis (L.) Cass. Cu Arrillaga 457 (MVFA) VDA Ther Ex–IAS
Conyza blakei (Cabrera) Cabrera Cu Berro 5042 (MVFA) VDA EvEr N
Conyza primulifolia (Lam.) Cuatrec. & Lourteig Hi 1907 Berro 3595 (MVFA) EvEr N
Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) E. Walker var. sumatrensis Cu Mai et al. 873 (MVJB 32587) VDA Ther N
Criscia stricta (Spreng.) L.Katinas Cu Marchesi 630 (MVFA) MH EvRo En – RE
Delairea odorata Lem. Cu Mai & Rodríguez-Tricot (MVJB 33212) VDA Vein Ex
Eclipta elliptica DC. Cu Mai et al. 711 (MVJB 32593) RH EvDi N
Eclipta prostrata (L.) L. Cu Marchesi et al. s.n. (MVJB 32589) HH Ther N LC
Facelis retusa Sch.Bip. Cu Arrillaga 421 (MVFA) MH, RH Ther N
Gamochaeta americana (Mill.) Wedd. Cu Lombardo 2103 (MVJB) RH EvEr N
Gamochaeta argentina Cabrera Cu Arrillaga 423 (MVFA) RH Ther N
Gamochaeta filaginea (DC.) Cabrera Cu Fernández et al. s.n. (MVJB 32586) RH, MH Ther N
Grazielia brevipetiolata R.M.King & H.Rob. Cu Osten 3887 (MVM) RH Suff En – Uy Pr
*Gyptis commersonii Cass. Hi 1899 Berro 5037 (MVFA) SeXy N
*Gyptis tanacetifolia (Gillies ex Hook. & Arn.) D.J.N. Hind & Flann Hi 1969 Marchesi 7299 (MVFA) SeXy N
Hatschbachiella tweedieana (Hook. & Arn.) R.M. King & H. Rob. Cu Lombardo 7488 (MVJB) RH Suff N
Helminthotheca echioides (L.) Holub Cu Mai et al. 835 (MVJB 32598) RH, MH Ther Ex
Hieracium commersonii Monnier Cu Legrand 3927 (MVM) MH ‘EvEr’ N
Hieracium palezieuxii Zahn Cu Mai et al. 836 (MVJB 32579) MH ‘EvEr’ N
Holocheilus brasiliensis (L.) Cabrera Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 5224) MH ‘EvEr’ N
Hypochaeris megapotamica Cabrera Cu Fernandez et al. s.n. (MVJB 32603) MH, RH ‘SeGe’ N
Hypochaeris radicata L. Cu Mai et al. 713 (MVJB 32583) MH EvRo Ex
Hypochaeris rosengurttii Cabrera Cu Marchesi 657 (MVFA) MH EvRo En – RE
Lessingianthus plantaginodes (Less.) H. Rob. Cu Rosengurtt B-4438 (MVFA) MH Suff N
Lucilia acutifolia Cass. Cu Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM) MH EvEr N
Lucilia nitens Less. Cu Mai et al. 842 (MVJB 32580) MH EvDi N
Micropsis spathulata (Pers.) Cabrera Cu Mai et al. 714 (MVJB 32591) RH, MH Ther N
Neja filiformis (Spreng.) Nees Cu Arrillaga et al. 2073 (MVFA) RH Suff N
Noticastrum gnaphalioides (Baker) Cuatrec. Cu Izaguirre & Laguardia (MVFA 11995) RH, MH EvDi N
Panphalea commersonii Cass. Cu Mai et al. 715 (MVJB 32599) MH SeGe N
Panphalea heterophylla Less. Hi 1937 Lombardo 3148 (MVJB 11024) Ther En – RE
Podocoma hieracifolia (Poir.) Cass. Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 3436) MH ‘EvRo’ N
Porophyllum brevifolium (Hook. & Arn.) Malme Cu Berro 3592 (MVFA) RH Suff En – Uy Pr
Pseudognaphalium cheiranthifolium (Lam.) Hilliard & B.L.Burtt Cu Mai et al. 853 (MVJB 32574) RH EvEr N
Pseudognaphalium gaudichaudianum (DC.) Anderb. Cu Mai et al. 813 (MVJB 32584) MH Ther N
Pseudognaphalium leucopeplum (Cabrera) Anderb. Hi 1944 Rosengurtt B-5726 (MVFA) EvEr N
Pterocaulon alopecuroides (Lam.) DC. Cu Mai et al. 854 (MVJB 32581) RH ‘EvEr’ N
Pterocaulon balansae Chodat Cu Lombardo 5511 (MVJB) VDA ‘EvEr’ N
Schlechtendalia luzulaefolia Less. Cu Berro 3595 (MVFA) MH GrCa N Pr
Senecio brasiliensis (Spreng.) Less. var. incanus Baker Hi 1947 Cabrera (MVM 13534) Suff N
Senecio heterotrichus DC. Hi 1937 Lombardo 2041 (MVJB) Ther N
Senecio ostenii Mattf. var. balaenicus Cabrera Cu Lombardo et al. 10953 (MVFA) RH EvEr En– PB Pr
Senecio selloi DC. Cu Mai et al. 915 (MVJB 33064) MH Ther En – RE
Senecio viravira Hieron. Hi 1907 Berro 846 (MVFA) Suff N
Sommerfeltia spinulosa Less. Cu Berro 5054 (MVFA) RH Suff N Pr
Sonchus oleraceus L. Cu Mai et al. 865 (MVJB 32578) MH Ther Ex
Stenachaenium megapotamicum (Spreng.) Baker Cu Osten 16846 (MVM) RH, MH EvDi N
Stevia congesta Hook. & Arn. Cu Lombardo 6250 (MVJB) MH SeGe En – Uy Pr
Stevia multiaristata Spreng. Cu Mai et al. 867 (MVJB 32609) MH SeGe N
Trichocline incana Cass. Cu Marchesi 618 (MVFA) RH EvRo N Pr
Urospermum picroides (L.) F.W.Schmidt Cu Mai et al. 907 (MVJB 33091) RH Ther Ex
Boraginaceae Juss. (1)
Echium plantagineum L. Cu Reus 10962 (MVFA) MH Ther Ex
Brassicaceae Burnett (2)
Cakile maritima Scop. Cu Lombardo 2375 (MVJB 12318) HG Ther Co
Lepidium bonariense L. Cu Berro 3622 (MVFA) RH Ther N
Cactaceae Juss. (14)
Cereus uruguayanus R. Kiesling Cu Osten 6506 (MVM) NF CaCo En – RE LC
Frailea pygmaea (Speg.) Britton & Rose Cu Mai 930 (MVJB 33070) RH CaDe En – RE LC
Gymnocalycium hyptiacanthum (Lem.) Britton & Rose Cu Mai et al. 689 (MVJB 32726) RH CaDe En – RE LC
Opuntia arechavaletae Speg. Cu Osten 16871 (MVM) RH CaCl N LC
Opuntia aurantiaca Lindl. Cu Nyffeler and Eggli 1446 (MVJB 22375) RH CaCl En – RE LC
Opuntia elata Salm-Dyck Cu NF CaCl N LC
Opuntia megapotamica Arechav. Cu NF CaCl N LC
Parodia concinna (Monv.) N.P.Taylor Cu Osten 16838 (MVM) RH CaDe En – RE VU
Parodia erinacea (Haw.) N.P. Taylor Cu Osten 16840 (MVM) RH CaGl N LC
*Parodia mammulosa (Lem.) N.P.Taylor Hi 1964 Marchesi CH 152 (MVFA) RH CaGl En – RE LC
Parodia ottonis (Lehm.) N.P.Taylor Cu Osten 16839 (MVM) RH CaGl N VU
Parodia scopa (Spreng.) N.P.Taylor Cu Legrand 3153 (MVM) RH CaGl En – RE VU
Parodia sellowii (Link & Otto) D.R. Hunt Cu Mai & Pollero 925 (MVJB 33071) RH CaGl En – RE VU
Parodia tabularis (Cels ex Rümpler) D.R.Hunt Cu Marchesi CH 149 (MVFA) RH CaGl En – PB Pr
Campanulaceae Juss (2).
Triodanis perfoliata (L.) Nieuwl. var. biflora Hi 1963 Marchesi 633 (MVFA) Ther N
Wahlenbergia linarioides (Lam.) A. DC. Cu Mai et al. 690 (MVJB 32563) RH, MH SeXy N
Cannabaceae Martinov (1)
Celtis spinosa Spreng. Cu Mai et al. 825 (MVJB 32564) NF Shru N LC
Caryophyllaceae Juss. (9)
Cerastium commersonianum Ser. ex DC. Hi 1899 Osten 3876 (MVM) RH Ther N
Cerastium glomeratum Thuill. Hi 1922 Osten 17070 (MVM) RH Ther Ex
Paronychia setigera (Gillies) F. Herm. Cu Fernández et al. s.n. (MVJB 32732) RH EvDi N
Polycarpon tetraphyllum (L.) L. Cu Mai et al. 718 (MVJB 32733) RH, MH Ther Ex
Sagina apetala Ard. Cu Brussa & Brussa (MVJB 31899) RH Ther Ex
Silene gallica L. Cu Masciadri s.n. (MVJB 27203) RH Ther Ex–IAS
Spergula grandis Pers. Cu Rosengurtt B 6407 (MVFA) RH SeGe N
Spergula salina (J.Presl & C.Presl) D.Dietr. Cu Mai et al. 668 (MVJB 32734) RH, HG Ther Co
Spergularia rupestris Cambess. Cu Rosengurtt B 4448 (MVFA) RH Suff En – Uy Pr
Cistaceae Juss. (1)
Crocanthemum brasiliense (Lam.) Spach Cu Mai et al. 796 (MVJB 32565) MH EvEr N
Convolvulaceae Juss (7).
Convolvulus hermanniae L’Hér. Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 3403) MH Vein N
Convolvulus sepium L. ssp. americana (Sims) Brummitt Cu HH Vein Ex
Dichondra sericea Sw. Cu Zabaleta et al. 356 (MVJB 33092) RH, MH EvDi N
Evolvulus sericeus Sw. Cu Mai et al. 801 (MVJB 32566) MH EvDi N
Ipomoea cairica (L.) Sweet Cu Mai et al. 838 (MVJB 32730) MH Vein N LC
Ipomoea indica (Burm.) Merr. Cu Mai et al. 839 (MVJB 32731) MH Vein N
Ipomoea platensis Ker-Gawl. Cu Mai & Pollero 926 (MVJB 33093) HG Vein N
Crassulaceae J. St.-Hil. (2)
Crassula caudiculata Bacigalupo & Rossow Cu Mai et al. 669 (MVJB 32568) RH Ther En – RE Pr
Crassula drummondii (Torr. & A.Gray) Fedde Cu Mai et al. 471 (MVJB 32567) RH Ther N
Euphorbiaceae Juss. (6)
Croton chamaepitys Baill. Hi 1944 Rosengurtt B 4691 (MVFA) Suff En – Uy Pr
Croton lanatus Lam. Cu Lombardo 2537 (MVJB 9333) RH Suff N
Croton nitrariifolius Baill. Cu Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM 5177) RH Suff En – RE Pr
Euphorbia caespitosa Lam. Hi 1956 Arrillaga 446 (MVFA) Suff N
Euphorbia klotzschii Oudejans Cu Mai et al. 833 (MVJB 32737) RH Ther N
Manihot grahamii Hook. Cu Mai et al. 843 (MVJB 32738) NF Tree N
Fabaceae Lindl. (26)
Adesmia punctata (Poir.) DC. var. punctata Cu Lombardo 2599 (MVJB 12748) MH EvDi N
Centrosema virginianum (L.) Benth. Hi 1907 Arechavaleta (MVM 5592) Vein N
Desmanthus virgatus (L.) Willd. Cu Marchesi 623 (MVFA) MH EvEr N LC
Galactia marginalis Benth. Cu Zabaleta et al. 294 (MVJB 32639) RH EvDi N
Genista monspessulana (L.) L.A.S. Johnson Cu Praderi s.n. (MVM) MH Shru Ex
Lathyrus crassipes Gillies ex Hook. & Arn. Cu Marchesi et al. (MVJB 33061) RH Ther N
Lathyrus nervosus Lam. Cu Osten 3972 (MVM) MH EvDi N
Lathyrus subulatus Lam. Cu Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM) MH SeXy N
Lupinus bracteolaris Desr. var bracteolaris Cu Mai & Pollero 928 (MVJB 33094) RH Ther En – RE
Lupinus gibertianus C.P.Sm. Cu Osten 16848 (MVM) MH Ther N
Lupinus multiflorus Desr. Cu Osten 3988 (MVM) MH EvEr N
Macroptilium prostratum (Benth.) Urb. Hi 1922 Osten 16864 (MVM) EvDi N
Medicago minima (L.) Bartal. var. minima Cu Marchesi et al. (MVJB 33096) MH Ther Ex
Medicago truncatula Gaertn. Hi 1965 Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 5227) MH Ther Ex LC
Mimosa amphigena Burkart var. trachycarpoides Burkart Cu Lombardo (MVJB 12676) RH Suff En – Uy Pr
Mimosa ramulosa Benth. Cu Lombardo (MVJB 12706) RH Shru En – RE
Mimosa reptans Benth. Cu Osten 17100 (MVM) RH Suff En – RE Pr
Psoralea pinnata L. var. speciosa Harv. Cu VDA Shru Ex
Racosperma longifolium (Andrews) Pedley Cu MH Shru Ex–IAS
Rhynchosia bicentrica B.L. Turner Cu Arechavaleta (MVM 5564) MH EvDi N
Rhynchosia corylifolia Mart. ex Benth. Hi 1948 Lombardo (MVJB 12878) MH EvDi N
Rhynchosia senna Gillies ex Hook. var. senna Cu MH EvDi N LC
Spartium junceum L. Cu VDA Shru Ex–IAS
Trifolium subterraneum L. Cu Zabaleta & Mendoza 187 (MVJB 32774) MH Ther Ex LC
Ulex europaeus L. Cu Mai et al. 905 (MVJB 33095) MH Suff Ex–IAS LC
Vicia benghalensis L. Cu Zabaleta et al. 355 (MVJB 33097) VDA Ther Ex
Gentianaceae Juss. (1)
Centaurium pulchellum (Sw.) Druce Cu Marchesi 615 (MVFA) MH Ther Ex LC
Heliotropiaceae Schrad (1).
Heliotropium curassavicum L. Cu Rosengurtt B-4435 (MVM 8403) HG EvDi N LC
Hypericaceae Juss. (2)
Hypericum connatum Lam. Cu Berro 3729 (MVFA) NF EvEr N
Hypericum piriai Arechav. Hi 1956 Arrillaga 420 (MVFA) EvEr En – RE Pr
Lamiaceae Martinov (4)
Glechon marifolia Benth. Cu Berro 5039 (MVFA) MH EvDi N
Salvia procurrens Benth. Cu RH EvDi N
Teucrium cubense Jacq. Hi 1963 Marchesi 665 (MVFA) EvEr N
Teucrium vesicarium Mill. Cu Mai et al. 565 (MVJB 32643) HG SeGe N
Linaceae DC. ex Perleb (1)
Cliococca selaginoides (Lam.) C.M.Rogers & Mildner Cu Nyffeler and Eggly 25063 (MVJB 25063) RH EvDi N
Loasaceae Juss. (1)
Blumenbachia insignis Schrad. Hi 1956 Arrillaga 451 (MVFA) Ther N
Lythraceae J. St.-Hil. (1)
Cuphea glutinosa Cham. & Schltdl. Cu Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM) MH EvEr N
Malvaceae Juss. (7)
Abutilon terminale (Cav.) A.St.-Hil. Cu Marchesi 642 (MVFA) MH Suff N
Krapovickasia flavescens (Cav.) Fryxell Cu Reus s.n. (MVFA 10963) RH, MH EvDi N
Modiola caroliniana (L.) G.Don Cu Mai et al. 671 (MVJB 32647) RH EvDi N
Pavonia aurigloba Krapov. & Cristóbal Cu Berro 3754 (MVFA) MH Suff N
Pavonia cymbalaria A.St.-Hil. & Naudin Cu Del Puerto and Marchesi 3433 (MVFA) MH Suff N Pr
Pavonia glechomoides A.St.-Hil. Cu Arrillaga 453 (MVFA) MH EvDi N
Sida spinosa L. Cu Mai et al. 862 (MVJB 32648) VDA Suff N
Moraceae Gaudich. (1)
Dorstenia brasiliensis Lam. Cu Nyffeler & Eggli s.n (MVFA 24053) RH EvRo N
Myrtaceae Juss. (1)
Psidium salutare (Humb., Bonpl. & Kunth) O. Berg var. mucronatum (Cambess.) Landrum Cu Berro 3741 (MVFA) RH, MH Suff N
Onagraceae Juss. (4)
Oenothera affinis Cambess. Hi 1948 Lombardo (MVJB 13088) Ther N
Oenothera indecora Cambess. Cu Mai et al. 694 (MVJB 32650) RH Ther N
Oenothera mollissima L. Cu Mai et al. 901 (MVJB 33069) RH Ther N
Oenothera parodiana Munz Hi 1907 Berro 3665 (MVFA) Ther N
Orobanchaceae Vent (3).
Agalinis communis (Cham. & Schltdl.) D’Arcy Cu Mai et al. 817 (MVJB 32744) MH Ther N
*Agalinis digitalis (Benth.) Barringer Hi 1907 Berro 3610 (MVFA) EvDi En – Uy Pr
Bellardia trixago (L.) All. Cu Mai et al. 906 (MVJB 33068) MH Ther Ex
Oxalidaceae R. Br. (6)
Oxalis articulata Savign. Cu Mai & Fernández 411 (MVJB 32759) RH SeGe N
Oxalis eriocarpa DC. Cu Arechavaleta (MVM 713) RH EvDi En – RE
Oxalis lasiopetala Zucc. Cu Arechavaleta (MVM 1725) MH SeGe N
Oxalis macachin Arechav. Cu Izaguirre & Laguardia 247 (MVFA) RH, MH SeGe En – RE
Oxalis perdicaria (Molina) Bertero Cu Legrand 3925 (MVM) RH SeGe N
Oxalis sellowiana Zucc. Cu Legrand 3924 (MVM) RH, MH SeGe En – RE
Passifloraceae Juss. ex Roussel (1)
Passiflora caerulea L. Cu Mai et al. 849 (MVJB 32745) MH Vein N
Pittosporaceae R. Br. (1)
Pittosporum undulatum Vent. Cu MH Shru Ex–IAS
Plantaginaceae Juss. (6)
Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst. Cu Zabaleta et al. 358 (MVJB 33073) HH Ther N LC
Plantago berroi Pilg. Cu Nyffeler & Eggli s.n. (MVJB 24050) RH, MH EvRo En – RE Pr
Plantago tomentosa Lam. Cu Mai et al. 850 (MVJB 32746) RH EvRo N
Scoparia montevidensis (Spreng.) R.E.Fr. Cu Osten 3985 (MVM) RH EvDi N
Veronica peregrina L. Hi 1937 Lombardo 2846 (MVJB) Ther Ex LC
Plumbaginaceae Juss. (1)
Limonium brasiliense (Boiss.) Kuntze Cu Rosengurtt B- 4439 (MVM 7967) RH SeGe N
Polygalaceae Hoffmanns. & Link (6)
Monnina cuneata A.St.-Hil. Cu Berro 5063 (MVFA) RH Suff En – RE
Polygala australis A.W.Benn. Cu Marchesi et al. (MVJB 33076) MH, RH Ther N
Polygala bonariensis Grondona Hi 1956 Arrillaga 453 (MVFA) SeXy N
Polygala cyparissias A. St.-Hil. & Moq. Hi 1963 Marchesi 663 (MVFA) EvDi N
Polygala linoides Poir. var. linoides Cu Mai et al. 900 (MVJB 33078 RH, MH SeXy N
Polygala resedoides A. St.-Hil. & Moq. Cu Mai et al. s.n. (MVJB 33207) RH, MH SeXy N
Polygonaceae Juss. (1)
Rumex cuneifolius Campd. Cu Rosengurtt B-4467 (MVFA) RH SeGe N
Portulacaceae Juss. (2)
Portulaca cryptopetala Speg. Cu Mai et al. 852 (MVJB 32747) RH EvDi N
Portulaca grandiflora Hook. Cu Chebataroff 5303 (MVM) RH EvDi N
Primulaceae Batsch (4)
Anagallis arvensis L. Cu Mai et al. 818 (MVJB 32749) MH Ther Ex
Myrsine coriacea (Sw.) R.Br. Cu Lombardo (MVJB 12029) MH Tree N
Myrsine laetevirens (Mez) Arechav. Cu Mai et al. 844 (MVJB 32748) NF Tree N
Samolus valerandi L. Cu Fernández et al. s.n. (MVJB 32661) HuC Ther N LC
Ranunculaceae Juss. (2)
Anemone decapetala Ard. Cu RH, MH SeGe N
Ranunculus platensis Spreng. Hi 1937 Lombardo 2371 (MVJB) Ther N
Rhamnaceae Juss. (3)
Colletia paradoxa (Spreng.) Escalante Cu Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM) RH Shru N
Discaria americana Gill. & Hook. Cu Mai et al. 912 RH Suff N
Scutia buxifolia Reissek Cu Mai et al. 859 (MVJB 32750) NF Tree N LC
Rubiaceae Juss. (11)
Borreria dasycephala (Cham. & Schltdl.) Bacigalupo & E.L.Cabral Hi 1903 Arechavaleta s.n. (MVM) EvDi N
Galianthe centranthoides (Cham. & Schldl.) E.L.Cabral Cu Marchesi (MVFA 7298) RH, MH Suff N
Galianthe fastigiata Griseb Cu Lombardo 6059 (MVJB) NF Suff N
Galium ericoides Lam. Cu Osten 3883 (MVM) RH Suff En – RE
Galium hirtum Lam. Cu Mai et al. 834 (MVJB 32751) MH Ther N
Galium hypocarpium Endl. ex Griseb. Cu Osten 3869 (MVM) MH EvDi N
Galium uruguayense Bacigalupo var. echinulatus Bacigalupo Cu Mai et al. 759 (MVJB 32664) MH EvDi En – RE Pr
Mitracarpus megapotamicus Kuntze Cu Marchesi 646 (MVFA) MH, RH EvDi N
Richardia brasiliensis Gomez Cu Legrand 3127 (MVM) MH, RH Ther N
Richardia humistrata Steud. Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 3429) MH, RH EvDi N
Richardia stellaris Steud. Cu MH, RH EvDi N
Sapindaceae Juss. (1)
Dodonaea viscosa Jacq. Cu Osten 3872 (MVM) NF Shru Co LC
Scrophulariaceae Juss. (1)
Verbascum virgatum Stokes Cu Mai et al. 911 (MVJB 33079) VDA Ther Ex
Solanaceae Juss. (12)
Bouchetia anomala (Miers) Britton & Rusby Cu Lombardo 2203 (MVJB) RH SeXy N
Cestrum euanthes Schltdl. Hi 1956 Arrillaga 443 (MVFA) Shru N
Nicotiana bonariensis Lehm. Cu Arrillaga 438 (MVFA) VDA Ther N
Nicotiana longiflora Cav. Cu MH SeXy N
Petunia axillaris (Lam.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb. Cu Arrillaga et al. 2069 (MVFA) RH EvDi N
Salpichroa origanifolia (Lam.) Baill. Cu Mai et al. 858 (MVJB 32753) RH, MH EvDi N
Solanum chenopodioides Lam. Cu MH Suff N
Solanum commersonii Poir. Cu Ren s.n. (MVFA 10961) MH SeGe N
Solanum mauritianum Scop. Cu Fernández et al. s.n. (MVJB 32668) NF Shru N
Solanum pseudocapsicum L. Hi 1907 Berro 3659 (MVFA) Suff N
Solanum sarrachoides Sendtn. Hi 1943 Rosengurtt B 4437 (MVFA) HH Ther N
Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam. Cu Mai et al. 864 (MVJB 32754) RH, MH Suff N
Turneraceae Kunth ex DC. (1)
Turnera sidoides L. Cu Mai et al. 706 (MVJB 32669) MH EvDi N
Verbenaceae J. St.-Hil. (8)
Glandularia aff. platensis (Spreng.) Schnack & Covas Cu MH EvDi N
Glandularia selloi (Spreng.) Tronc. Cu Del Puerto & Marchesi (MVFA 5222) MH EvDi En – RE
Lantana camara L. Cu Berro 3619 (MVFA) NF Shru N
Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene var. minor Cu Mai & Pollero 922 (MVJB 33063) MH EvDi N
Verbena bonariensis L. var. bonariensis Cu Mai & Zarucki 914 (33208) VDA SeGe N
Verbena intermedia Gill. & Hook. Cu Mai & Pollero 933 (MVJB 33209) MH SeGe N
Verbena montevidensis Spreng. Cu Mai et al. 869 (MVJB 32670) MH Suff N
Verbena rigida Spreng. Cu Mai et al. 870 (MVJB 32671) MH SeGe N
Violaceae Batsch (1)
Pombalia parviflora (Mutis ex L.f.) Paula-Souza Cu Lombardo 3070 (MVJB) RH EvDi N
Figure 2. 

Aerial view and vegetation types of Punta Ballena. A: Aerial view of the natural area of Punta Ballena rocky point; B-C: rupicolous herblands and detail of the rocky substrate; D: mesophilic herblands associated with implanted Racosperma longifolium patches (in the background of the photo); E: hydrophilic herblands; F: halophilic grasslands; G: humid rocky shelters communities; H: native forest patches; I: Vegetation of disturbed areas on the access road (A-M. Bonifacino photo).

Life forms and vegetation types

Herbs were dominant in the studied flora (76%), with a major representation of ‘evergreen herbs’, ‘grasses and graminoids’ and ‘therophytes’ (21, 20 and 19%), followed by ‘seasonal herbs’ (which persist through subterraneous or basal resistant structures) which reached almost 16%. They were followed by suffrutex (9.6%), shrubs (4.2%) and cactus (3.5%). Less representation was shown by ‘ferns and lycophytes’, ‘veins’, ‘trees’ and ‘arborescent monocots’ (less than 2% each) (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. 

Species number of plant life forms found in Punta Ballena.

Five main native vegetation types were found in the natural area of Punta Ballena rocky point (Figs 1C, . 2): ‘halophilic grasslands’, ‘humid rocky shelters communities’, ‘hydrophilic herblands’, ‘mesophilic herblands’ and ‘rupicolous herblands’. The latter vegetation type on the eastern slope is associated with implanted "Racosperma longifolium patches" (Table 2, Fig. 1C). Two additional vegetation types were found on the sides of the access road: ‘native forest patches’ and ‘vegetation of disturbed areas’. ‘Rupicolous herblands’ developed over and between rocks, or in places near rocky outcrops with scarce soil availability (depth less than 10 cm); this is the most extensive vegetation type in the area covering nine ha. ‘Mesophilic herblands’ developed in areas higher than 20 m above sea level on long slopes of the rocky point, where soil is close to 50 cm deep; it occupied 5.3 ha, of which 0.4 ha corresponded to ‘Racosperma longifolium patches’. ‘Halophilic grasslands’ occur in sites exposed to temporary floods from de la Plata River on the extreme point, with scarce substrate mainly composed of sand, pieces of rock, and decomposing materials; this vegetation covered less than 0.3 ha. ‘Hydrophilic herblands’ developed in depressions between rocky areas or low areas of the slope, and were found only on the west slope of the rocky point. It had the deepest substrate, more than 80 cm deep, and occupied approximately 0.15 ha. ‘Humid rocky shelters communities’ developed on the rocks exposed to the tide and reached negligible surface coverage (< 0.1 ha).

‘Rupicolous’ and ‘mesophilic herblands’ were the vegetation types with the highest number of species, maintaining 35% and 34% of the flora, respectively. A high number of species could develop in both vegetation types (48 species, 13%) as well. These were followed by ‘hydrophilic herblands’ (25 species, ca 7%) and ‘halophilic grasslands’ (13 species, ca 3%), ‘humid rocky shelters communities’ showed less significance with 4 species (<1%). ‘Native forest patches’ and ‘vegetation of disturbed areas’ on the sides of the access road reached 12 and 13 species respectively (ca 3% each).

Endemisms and threatened species

Punta Ballena supported a high number of threatened and priority species for conservation, as well as endemisms, summing up 74 taxa, 17% of the site flora (Table 2, Fig. 4). According to IUCN criteria, Cypella osteniana, is considered endangered (Paz Deble et al. 2021) and five species are vulnerable: Oxypetalum marchesii (González et al. 2018) along with four Cacti: Parodia concinna, P. ottonis, P. scopa and Parodia sellowii (it should be noted that Parodia tabularis, was not evaluated by IUCN). A total of 33 taxa were considered priority for conservation in the country and 64 were identified as endemic: 48 regional endemisms, 13 with a restricted distribution within Uruguay and two local endemisms from Punta Ballena: Senecio ostenii var. balaenicus and Parodia tabularis (Table 2, Fig. 4).

Figure 4. 

Priority for conservation and threatened species from Punta Ballena. Amaryllidaceae: A: Beauverdia hirtella, B: Zephyranthes estensis. Apiaceae: C: Apium prostratum. Arecaceae: D: Butia odorata. Asclepiadaceae: E: Oxypetalum marchesii. Asteraceae: F: Aldama nudicaulis, G: Grazielia brevipetiolata, H: Porophyllum brevifolium, I: Schlechtendalia luzulaefolia, J: Senecio ostenii var. balaenicus, K: Sommerfeltia spinulosa, L: Trichocline incana. Cactaceae: M: Cereus uruguayanus historic photo, taken from the herbarium specimen Osten 16506 (MVM), N: Frailea pygmaea, O: Gymnocalycium hyptiacanthum, P: Opuntia arechavaletae, Q: Parodia concinna, R: Parodia ottonis, S: Parodia scopa, T: Parodia sellowii, U: Parodia tabularis, V: flower detail of Parodia tabularis. Caryophyllaceae: W: Spergularia rupestris. Crassulaceae: X: Crassula caudiculata. Cyperaceae: Y: Carex vixdentata, Z: Eleocharis montevidensis. Euphorbiaceae: Aa: Croton nitrariifolius. Fabaceae: Ab: Mimosa amphigena var. trachycarpoides, Ac: Mimosa reptans. Iridaceae: Ad: Cypella osteniana, Ae: Sisyrinchium rosengurtii. Malvaceae: Af: Pavonia cymbalaria. Orchidaceae: Ag: Bipinnula gibertii, Ah: Bipinnula montana. Poaceae: Ai: Echinochloa polystachya var. spectabilis. (H, S, Y and Ac-S. Fernández Photos).

Despite the fact that several historically documented taxa were currently confirmed in the site, 14% of the total taxa had not been registered in recent years. Applying a precautionary principle, these taxa were kept on the species list. Due to the lack of exact data from the collection sites of some historic specimens, as well as the urban development of the site (which has led to the loss of native environments and their vegetation), these taxa could either be present with diminished populations or be locally extinct. In this sense, we confirm five species as locally extinct: Oxypetalum nigricans, Gyptis commersonii, Gyptis tanacetifolia, Agalinis digitalis and Parodia mammulosa (Table 2, Fig. 5).

Figure 5. 

Species with historic record for Punta Ballena, considered regional and Uruguayan endemisms or priority for conservation for the country. Black box indicates species locally extinct. Asclepiadaceae: A: Oxypetalum nigricans. Asteraceae: B: Baccharis arenaria; C: Baccharis gnaphalioides; D: Gyptis commersonii; E: Gyptis tanacetifolia; F: Panphalea heterophylla. Cactaceae: G: Parodia mammulosa. Cyperaceae: H: Cyperus berroi. Euphorbiaceae: I: Croton chamaepitys. Hypericaceae: J: Hypericum piriai. Orobanchaceae: K: Agalinis digitalis. Poaceae: L: Jarava juncoides; M: Aristida filifolia; N: Aristida murina; O: Aristida teretifolia; P: Danthonia rhizomata; Q: Digitaria enodis; R: Piptochaetium confusum.

Discussion

Punta Ballena stands out because of its high plant diversity (427 spp), especially considering that only 20 ha. are currently in a natural state. This species list corresponds to 15% of the total flora of the country (2756 spp, Marchesi et al. 2013). The particular geological characteristics of the site, where geological materials of different origins converge (Goso and Muzio 2006; Spoturno et al. 2012), and the continuity of the hill environment towards the sea, have surely allowed the development of this varied flora.

The most species-rich families, Asteraceae and Poaceae, followed by Fabaceae, coincide in being the families with the highest species richness for the country and dominate the “Rio de la Plata grasslands” ecoregion, where Uruguay is located (Andrade et al. 2018). Also, other numerous families of Punta Ballena, are characteristic of this ecoregion, such as Cyperaceae, Solanaceae and Rubiaceae. The importance of Cactaceae and Cyperaceae in this site is highlighted, first because they are species that grow between and over rocks, and second because its species grow in humid environments, with permanent or temporary accumulation of water, which occurs in some sectors of the rocky point.

The projection of the rocky environment into the la Plata River, and the presence of several microhabitats allow the development of different vegetation types at the site (Figs 1C, 2). This vegetation diversity found on the rocky point sustains species with different habitat affinities, such as rupestrian and epilithic species in rupicolous herblands, halophyte species either in rupicolous herblands influenced by the sea or in halophilic grasslands, and a combination of grass and herbs in mesophilic herblands (dominated by Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae spp.). As expected for the preponderant vegetation, herbs were dominant in this flora with a major representation of perennials. They have developed several strategies to grow in this environment; in this sense rosettes and prostrate or decumbent habits were widely recorded, as well as specialized subterranean structures such as xylopodia, bulbs, rhizomes or thickened stems and roots. Species that develop in halophytic grasslands exhibit adaptations to live in saline environments, such as succulent leaves, salt excretory glands, and the ability to maintain a relatively high osmotic pressure in their tissues due to salt accumulation (Chebataroff 1936, 1950; Legrand 1959). Shrubs and suffrutex are also common, being habits developed by species that in other environments acquire greater size but here, grow in a squat and prostrate way. A frequent adaptation to the rocky environment is succulence; in this site Cacti stands out for developing succulent, globose or cladode stems.

Regarding historical collections from the site, to date Punta Ballena has suffered a loss of 14% of its species. This fact is likely a direct consequence of the urban development of the site in recent decades. Even, from the historically documented species, we consider five species to be locally extinct: Oxypetalum nigricans, Gyptis commersonii, Gyptis tanacetifolia, Agalinis digitalis and Parodia mammulosa (Fig. 5). For all these taxa there was a reduction of their typical environments and in those that remain they were not found. In turn, during the continuous surveys we could confirm that some species showed severely diminished populations such as: Frailea pygmaea, Gymnocalycium hyptiacanthum and Lathyrus subulatus, with scarce individuals or populations in the area. Specifically, in relation to Cacti, in addition to verifying the absence of Parodia mammulosa, we note a decrease in the abundance of all Cactaceae species, probably as a consequence of illegal collection.

The site supports five vulnerable and one endangered species (IUCN), numerous priority species for conservation in Uruguay, two local endemisms and numerous national and regional endemisms (Table 2). Most of the priority species are widely distributed along the rocky point: e.g. Apium prostratum; Aldama nudicaulis, Grazielia brevipetiolata, Porophyllum brevifolium, Schlechtendalia luzulaefolia, Sommerfeltia spinulosa, Trichocline incana; Spergularia rupestris; Croton nitrariifolius; Sisyrinchium rosengurtii; Pavonia cymbalaria; Jarava juncoides and Nassella pauciciliata. Moreover, among the endemic taxa, the regional endemisms denote the mixture of campestre species with subtropical species that show atlantic or paranaense affinity: e.g. Beauverdia sellowiana, B. vittata; Aldama nudicaulis, Baccharis patens; Frailea pygmaea, Parodia concinna, P. mammulosa, P. scopa; Mimosa ramulosa, M. reptans; Herbertia pulchella; Bipinnula gibertii and B. montana. The taxa with a restricted distribution within Uruguay could be found throughout the rocky point, e.g. Beauverdia hirtella and Zephyranthes estensis; Oxypetalum marchesii; Grazielia brevipetiolata, Porophyllum brevifolium; Spergularia rupestris; Mimosa amphigena var. trachycarpoides; Cypella osteniana; Nassella pauciciliata; among others. Finally, two local endemisms from Punta Ballena are present at the site: Senecio ostenii var. balaenicus and Parodia tabularis (as was previously mentioned, the latter has shown a reduction in its population each year).

Most of the species were native, while exotic species represented 13% of this flora. Many of them (11 species) were considered IAS for the country (Masciadri et al. 2010). Carpobrotus edulis is of greater concern in the site, because it is locally spreading in the rupicolous communities of the rocky point. Another IAS at the site is Cynodon dactylon, which develops a dense tapestry in some sectors of the mesophilic herbland, especially near parking lots or in places prone to be altered or disturbed. Pittosporum undulatum is mostly found on the sides of the access road, while Ulex europaeus was locally restricted to a sector of the rocky point. The remaining IAS coexist with native species integrating the different types of vegetation. All these species represent a threat for the vegetation, the diverse flora of Punta Ballena and the numerous species of interest for conservation. Masciadri et al. (2010) suggested that rapid actions be carried out to control IAS specially in coastal departments of Uruguay, not only to reduce the negative impacts on coastal ecosystems, but also to mitigate the economic losses related to IAS that could happen in a locality that relies on tourism.

The highly diverse flora of Punta Ballena, as well as the documented presence of numerous taxa with interest for conservation and endemisms on a reduced surface, justify the urgent need for protection of the site. It is especially necessary to regulate common actions that occur on the natural area of the rocky point, such as cutting grass and herbs on the sides of the access road (that reduce natural populations of some native species, in contrast to adventitious and exotic ones); vehicular traffic or irregular parking in areas with vegetation or rocks (that not only affects plants but also the fauna associated with it); restrict the parking surface (that has increased in recent years); and finally take actions to avoid the illegal extraction of specimens of cactus and other species by visitors. In relation to the urbanized area, the projection of an urban advance in natural remnants, would lead to the extinction of numerous species, many of which have previously been classified as priority for conservation or under IUCN threat categories. Additionally, it is necessary to regulate the types of plants used in gardens and for green roofs, since several species commonly used are exotic and IAS, and represent a threat to the native vegetation of the site.

Some recommendations to promote the conservation of the area: in the private area, all non-developed private spaces should not be intervened with, the natural vegetation of the place should be promoted and maintained, and land leveling or other modifications of the natural terrain should not be allowed. In the public natural area, it is necessary to take actions to regulate traffic and irregular parking in areas where there is vegetation, and avoid or minimize the cutting of grass. Additionally, boardwalks with explanatory and informative signs should be incorporated, and a species protection site should be promoted in this particular area, given that it is a hotspot on the coast of Uruguay.

Conclusions

Our work highlights the floristic importance of the emblematic coastal site of Punta Ballena. We consider the natural area of this rocky point as a plant hotspot, because it supports an exceptionally high flora and nourishes a significant number of endemic, priority for conservation and threatened species. The loss or decrease in surface area of this natural space would seriously endanger the existence of all these species. From a conservation perspective, we hope this work lays the foundation to generate conservation plans for the site and for the future definition of actions and responsibilities.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the curators of the herbaria, and specially MVJB where the specimens of this research were deposited. Special thanks are due to N. Idjiloff, S. Fernández, L. Rodríguez-Tricot and M. Zarucki for their participation in fieldwork; F. Lezama and F. Haretche for confirmation and determination of some specimens, and M. Bonifacino and S. Fernández for the contribution of photos. This research was funded by CSIC-UdelaR. P.M. thanks PEDECIBA and ANII for the granting of a PHD thesis scholarship.

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