Galapagos Islands vegetation - Scalesia zone plantlife
The transition zone merges into the evergreen scalisia forest, which is lush cloud forest, dominated by scalesia pedunculata trees. This type of forest occurs only on the higher islands and, being the richest zone in terms of soil fertility and productivity, has been extensively cut down for agricultural and cattle ranching purposes. The scalesia forest is diverse and has many edemic species.
Humid. Epiphytes like orchids, mosses, ferns and lichens thrive in this zone's constant moisture and ornate trees and shrubs with color and charm. Typical at this degree of humidity are the Scalesias and Pisonias. Not much is said about the highlands of Galápagos, but in reality this is an amazing cloud forest with unique features.
The lowest of the "humid" zones this zone is named for the daisy tree that grows between 970-1970 ft (300 - 600 m) elevations. The Scalesia is one of the few trees in the Aster Family and grows to heights 16 - 50 ft (5-15 m) in height. Its trunk and branches are covered with moss and lichens. This area is humid and has the essence of being in a rainforest.
Scalesia Trees have been greatly reduced in numbers since humans arrived in the islands. With them came pigs and goats, which devour the young plants and feed on older plants. People also introduced the Guava, a plant whose dense growth patterns steals nutrients and eventually makes it impossible for competing plants to survive.