Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is restricted to some fragments of the summits of La Trinidad and Álvarez mountain ranges, in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. The extent of occurrence is ca 1,895 km², and it is fragmented into three subpopulations with an area of occupancy of ca 20-50 km².
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Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Opuntia megarrhiza Rose
Catalog Number: US 570115
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): E. Palmer
Year Collected: 1905
Locality: San Luis Potosi, Mexico, North America
  • Holotype: Rose, J. N. 1906. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 10: 126.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is found in areas of disturbed grassland of Bouteloua gracilis or Heteropogon contortus, and chaparral of Quercus striatula or Q. edwardii on the tops of mountains. The soils are relatively deep-dark clay, with limestone outcrops.
The cladodes of this species die back in the winter months and regrow in the spring as an adaptation to withstand freezing and the impacts of fire.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Hernández, H.M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Goettsch, B.K. & Sotomayor, M.

Reviewer/s
Chanson, J.S.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a small extent of occurrence (less than 1,895 km²), its population comprises three disjunct subpopulations comprising three locations, and the quality of its habitat is expected to decline in the long term due to the intensification of human activities, and there is significant harvest occuring from the wild.

History
  • 2002
    Endangered
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Population

Population
The population size is less than 2,500 mature individuals. The species is known from eight localities aggregated into three subpopulations.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The natural vegetation is almost totally modified, due to livestock raising. The species is under some pressure due to its medicinal uses.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species is listed on CITES Appendix II. Two thirds of the known localities of this species are within a decreed protected area (Area Natural Protegida del Real de Guadalcázar). The effective conservation of this area would ensure the survival of the species. The medicinal value of the species has to be verified through scientific research. Its possible utilization could lead to its conservation through management.
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Wikipedia

Opuntia megarrhiza

Opuntia megarrhiza Rose is a species of plant in the Cactaceae family. It is endemic to the State of San Luís Potosí in northeastern Mexico.[1]

It is known only from 5 populations, around the summits of La Trinidad and Álvarez Mountain Ranges, in San Luis Potosí, northeastern Mexico. [2] Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland.

It is an endangered species, threatened by habitat loss, grazing, and harvest for traditional medicinal uses.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ H.M. Hernández, C. Gómez-Hinostrosa, & R.T. Barcenas. 2001. Studies on Mexican Cacti II: Opuntia megarrhiza, a poorly known endemic from San Luís Potosí, México. Brittonia 528-533.
  2. ^ Hernández, H.M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C. & Goettsch, B. 2002. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Opuntia megarrhiza. accessed 3.23.2013
  3. ^ Rose, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 10:126. 1906
  4. ^ Hernández-Valencia, Acta Cientifica Potosina 10:155-162. 1988.
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