As altitude increases and temperature decreases the vegetation in the Andes, as in the Central European Alps, forms various altitudinal belts. Agricultural use of the land conforms to these altitudinal vegetation belts.
Altitudinal Vegetation Belts and Agriculture The Tierra caliente (hot land) extends to an altitude of about 1200m. Coffee, bananas and corn are cultivated in this belt of tropical rain forest. The Tierra templada (temperate land) extends to about 2500m above sea level and is home to tropical mountain forests. In addition to the crops grown in the Tierra caliente, fruit is grown in this zone, and in the upper regions also wheat, barley and potatoes. The Tierra fria (cold land) extends to 4000m. Wheat, barley and potatoes are grown in this belt of tropical cloud forest. With constant temperatures below 10 °C the Tierra helada (frozen land) lies beyond the upper border of agricultural cultivation. The cushion plants and grasses (Páramo) that grow here are however used for grassland farming. The zone of eternal ice, the Tierra nevada (snowy land), extends above 5200m. M. Felsch, H.-D. Haas; Ü: J. Moar, M. Dahl