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Lessonia trabeculata

Nombre común:

Peru: Aracanto, palo, white palo
Chile: Huiro palo, huiro varilla

Distribution and Biology:

It is a species endemic to the Eastern Pacific coasts in the Southern Hemisphere, with a distribution range between 14° and 40° latitude. It inhabits rocky, exposed and semi-exposed subtidal environments. It forms discrete forests, in depths between 4 and 25 meters. Its bathymetric extent is variable, and depends on the pressure exerted by predators, wave exposure at the upper limit, the availability of stable substrate and the slope of the rocky bottom at the lower limit. This species, like M. pyrifera, is considered a keystone species in benthic ecosystems, where it plays an engineering and structuring role (JONES et al. 1994, 1997), allowing the coexistence of a large number of invertebrates, fish and plants. Its morphological structure includes a fixation disk, from which arise one to five stipes, each of which branches dichotomously and has at least two lamellae. These are flat, broad, smooth and lanceolate in shape with smooth and sometimes denticulate margins. Adult plants can grow to more than 2 meters in height


The extraction of this species is an eminently artisanal work, of singular importance for the rural areas involved in the extractive activity, generating work and socioeconomic well-being for a large number of families. It is mainly used in the extraction of alginates.
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