Columnar Cacti of Mexico (IE-MORELIA, UNAM)

The National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity
Av. Liga Periférico Insurgentes Sur 4903
Col. Parques del Pedregal, Tlalpan
14010 México, D. F.
Phone 5004 5000
Fax     5004 4931

Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra Real de Azua
Instituto de Ecología, UNAM Campus Morelia

The National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity covers a large diversity of databases for the purpose of organizing the creation and maintenance of SNIB. Thus, the database of Columnar Cacti which has 2 022 records pertaining to 14 genera and 60 species is part of the study, the principal purpose of which is an analysis of the distribution of the wealth of species of the columnar cacti of Mexico.

Among the most important results, three centers of high diversity of species in the arid and semi-arid zones of the country were identified: toward the West, the Baja California peninsula and a transitional zone (holartic-neotropical) in Sinaloa and for the south-central part of the country, a strip in the Lowlands of the Balsas and the Valley of Tehuacan-Cuicatlan, extending to the Oaxaca Province. In these centers of specific great wealth are areas of extraordinary biological wealth; that is, there are areas where in principle it would be advisable to dedicate conservation efforts.

From the point of view of the rechange of species that is, biodiversity- this is greater for coloumnae cactaceae in the transition zones between large natural units; and it is particularly high in the southern regions of the country and in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

In the same way, the degree of endemism increases significantly towards the south of Mexico and demonstrates highly endemic and micro-aerial species in the Tehuacan-Balsas-Tehuantepec triangle. Consequently, if conservation efforts are directed toward the conservation of rare species - more than the wealth of species in themselves- these regions in southern Mexico appear to have maximum priority for the conservation of columnar cacti.


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