Included here are the coastal deserts and semi-deserts of Chile.

Northern Chilean Coastal Dunes

These occur in various coastal locations and species composition seems to vary from place to place. In the Pan de Azúcar National Park, the characteristic dune species include Tiquilia littoralis and the endemic Euphorbia copiapina (Euphorbiaceae), Oenothera coquimbensis (Onagraceae) and Skytanthus acutus (Apocynaceae). The dunes in this area often grade into the Bajada slopes, but south of here in the littoral belt from Rio Capiapó to Chanaral many of the desert interior species can be found in coastal dunes together with characteristic species such as the endemic Babia ambrosioides (family?), Eulychnia acida (Cactaceae), Heliotropium stenophyllum (Boraginaceae) and Nolana divaricata (Nolanaceae). South of Chanaral, several characteristic species such as the endemic Dinemandra ericoides (Malpighiaceae) and Nolana aplocaryoides (Nolanaceae) reach their southern limit. Further south around La Serena the dunes are dominated by Tetragonia maritima and the endemic Nolana divaricata (Nolanaceae), while associated species include Ephedra breana and the endemic Nolana carnosa (Nolanaceae).


Anon. 1996. Habitats of South America. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology and Intitut Royal Des Sciences Naturelles De Belgique.

Rundel, P. W., Dillon, M. O. & Palma, B. 1996. Flora and vegetation of Pan de Azucar National Park in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Gayana Botanica, 53: 295-315.

Rundel, P. W., Dillon, M. O., Palma, B., Mooney, H. A., Gulmon, S. L. & Ehleringer, J. R. 1991. The phytogeography and ecology of the coastal Atacama and Peruvian deserts. Aliso, 13: 1-49.

Veblen, T. T., Young, K. R. & Orme, A. R. 2007. The Physical Geography of South America. Oxford University Press.