Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Bragg


Forty-four genera and 93 species of native Asteraceae were collected from 2003- 2005 on the northwestern slopes of Pico Zunil, a montane cloud forest habitat in southwestern Guatemala. Combining the present survey with past surveys, a total of 56 genera and 126 species of Asteraceae now have been reported from Pico Zunil, only five of which were naturalized Old World species. In the present study, the tribe Heliantheae contained the greatest number of native species (n=29) with the most diverse genus being Ageratina (Eupatorieae) (10 species). Species richness of native Asteraceae measured along an elevational gradient ranged from a low of 15 species at 3300-3542 m to a high of 58 species at 2300-2600 m, where human land use most actively affects cloud forest habitat Of the plants collected, Ageratina rivalis and Verbesina sousae were new species records for Guatemala. Six more species were new records for the Department of Quetzaltenango: Ageratina pichinchensis, A. prunellaefolia, A. saxorum, Koanophyllon coulteri, Stevia triflora, and Telanthophora cobanensis. In addition, 16 of the 97 species iv collected are known to be endemic to the western montane departments of Guatemala and the montane regions of southernmost Chiapas, Mexico The study provides a base of information against which future studies can measure temporal changes in species’ presence such as may accompany environmental changes resulting from global climate change. The study also more fully describes the occurrence of Asteraceae species in a globally threatened tropical montane cloud forest ecosystem.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Biology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2006 Taylor Sultan Quedensley.