Cabo De Hornos: Un Crisol Biogeográfico en La Cumbre Austral De América

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This article proposes to distinguish three discoveries of Cape Horn.

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23 p.

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Rozzi, Ricardo, 1960- June 17, 2018.


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  • Main Title: Cabo De Hornos: Un Crisol Biogeográfico en La Cumbre Austral De América
  • Parallel Title: Cape Horn: A Biogeographic Melting Pot at the Southern End of the Americas


This article proposes to distinguish three discoveries of Cape Horn.

Physical Description

23 p.


Abstract: In this work, I propose to distinguish three discoveries of Cape Horn. A first discovery would have occurred about 7500 years ago, when the ancestors of the Yahgan people arrived to the archipelagos located south of Tierra del Fuego. A second discovery took place in 1616, when Dutch explorers spotted Cape Horn and transformed the paradigm of the seventeenth century European cartography that represented Tierra del Fuego attached to the Antarctic Continent. A third discovery occurred in 2005, when UNESCO created the Cabo Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (RBCH), based on the discovery of an exceptional richness of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and lichens. This finding transformed the southern end of the Americas into a world center of biodiversity for these groups of organisms. I present a special attribute of Cape Horn’s biodiversity: its multiple biogeographical relationships. For Cape Horn’s biodiversity, affinities can be identified with biota from six contrasting biogeographic regions: Antarctic, bipolar (subarctic and sub-Antarctic), circumantarctic, Gondwana, Neotropical and high Andean, also considering the high degree of endemism. The field environmental philosophy methodological approach (presented in the second group of articles of this special issue of Magallania) contributes both to knowledge and conservation of the small flora of bryophytes and lichens, and other biota that have remained less perceived and valued in Cape Horn and other regions of the world.

Resumen: En este trabajo se propone distinguir tres descubrimientos de Cabo de Hornos. Un primer descubrimiento habría ocurrido hace unos 7500 años, cuando los antepasados del pueblo originario yagán arribaron a los archipiélagos ubicados al sur de Tierra del Fuego. Un segundo descubrimiento tuvo lugar en 1616, cuando exploradores holandeses avistaron el Cabo de Hornos y transformaron el paradigma de la cartografía europea del siglo XVII que representaba a Tierra del Fuego adosada al continente antártico. Un tercer descubrimiento ocurrió el 2005, cuando UNESCO creó la Reserva de la Biosfera Cabo de Hornos (RBCH) a partir del hallazgo de una excepcional riqueza de especies de briofitas (musgos y hepáticas) y líquenes que transformaron al extremo sur de América en un centro mundial de biodiversidad. En este trabajo se presenta un atributo especial de la biodiversidad de la RBCH: sus múltiples relaciones biogeográficas. Existen afinidades con biotas de seis regiones biogeográficas contrastantes: antárticas, bipolares (subárticas y subantárticas), circumantárticas, gondwánicas, neotropicales y altoandinas, además del alto grado de endemismo. La aproximación metodológica de la filosofía ambiental de campo tratada en el segundo grupo de artículos de este número especial de Magallania contribuye tanto al conocimiento como a la conservación de la pequeña flora de briofitas y líquenes y otras biotas que han permanecido menos percibidas y valoradas en Cabo de Hornos y otras regiones del mundo.


  • Magallania, 2018, Magallanes: Universidad de Magallanes.


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Publication Information

  • Publication Title: Magallania
  • Volume: 46
  • Issue: 1
  • Page Start: 79
  • Page End: 101
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes


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UNT Scholarly Works

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Creation Date

  • June 17, 2018

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 12, 2018, 10:49 a.m.

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  • Oct. 10, 2022, 11:33 a.m.

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Rozzi, Ricardo, 1960-. Cabo De Hornos: Un Crisol Biogeográfico en La Cumbre Austral De América, article, June 17, 2018; Punta Arenas, Chile. ( accessed September 22, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library,; crediting UNT College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.

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