Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: It occurs in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Mexico.

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Range Description

This is a widespread species that occurs in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Veracruz (reported from the literature), Yucatán, Zacatecas, and in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the USA, at elevations between 10 to 2,000 m asl (Pilbeam 1999; Hunt et al. 2006). The Nature Serve reports it from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants unbranched, protruding relatively little above soil. Roots obconic taproots; secondary roots diffuse. Stems top-shaped, flat-topped (aerial part sometimes hemispheric in old age or in dense subtropical vegetation), protruding above ground 0-2 × (4-)7.5-15 cm, firm; tubercles 9-15(-20) × 3-7 mm; axils with short wool, bristles absent; cortex and pith not mucilaginous; latex abundant in healthy tissue throughout cortex of stem, tubercles, and sometimes flower receptacle, sticky, white. Spines (8-)10-18(-27) per areole, usually brownish, darker at tip, glabrous; radial spines (8-)10-22(-26) per areole, white to white-and-brown or brown , needlelike, 6-15(-16) mm, stiff, abaxial spines longest; central spines (0-)1(-4) per areole, porrect or ascending, not hooked, (0.5-)2-8 × 0.15-0.45 mm; subcentral spines 0. Flowers 1.9-3.8 × 1.5-3 cm; outermost tepal margins entire; inner tepals white, greenish or cream to pale pink, with tan, pink, greenish, or brownish midstripes, 11-19 × 2-2.5 mm; stigma lobes externally green, internally green or red (or pink), 2.5-3 mm. Fruits brilliant red: scarlet, carmine, or crimson, obovoid to clavate, 10-35(-40) × 5-8 mm, juicy only in fruit walls; floral remnant weakly persistent. Seeds reddish brown, sometimes yellowish when fresh, 1-1.2 mm, deeply pitted; testa thin, relatively flexible; anticlinal cell walls sinuate, interstices narrower than pit diameters; pits cavernous or deeply concave. 2n = 22.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: It occurs on gravelly limestone soils in desert and grasslands from near sea level, deeper soils of valley and plains, and on mountain hillsides.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The species occurs in xerophyllous scrub, also in grassland (Golubov et al. 2000; Goettsch and Hernández 2006). It grows in gravelly limestone soils in desert and grasslands from near sea level; deeper soils of valley and plains, and hillsides.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: 100 EO's (Benson 1982).

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General Ecology

It often grows under the partial shade of trees, shrubs, or tall grass (Weniger 1970).

Thomas (2006) found that long-term survival after fire in Arizona populations was severely diminished with all plants dead after 16 years. Although new cacti did eventually establish on the study areas and by the end were of a similar size to the dead cohort, fire more rapidly removed the breeding populations, reducing seed availability in the occasional years favorable for establishment, and increasing the risk of local extinction.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Mammillaria is dispersed by a wide array of vertebrate animals (van Rheede van Ousdtshorn and van Rooyen 1999). It is suspected that M. heyderi fruit are eaten by birds and rodents (Boke 1953).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Reported from the southwestern United States, abundance unknown.

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Terry, M., Heil, K., Corral-Díaz, R. & Goettsch, B.K.

Reviewer/s
Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.

Contributor/s

Justification

Mammillaria heyderi has a very large extent of occurrence, is abundant, and there are no known major threats. Hence, it is listed as Least Concern.

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Population

Population
The species is common in xerophyllous scrub, while it is less abundant in grassland (Golubov et al. 2000; Goettsch and Hernández 2006). A total of 71 individuals were found across 13 transects of 1 km length in the southern Chihuahuan desert. The average density was 1.2 individuals/ha (Goettsch 2007).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Comments: Most cacti subject to horticultural collecting.

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Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species, however land use change affects some subpopulations.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Throughout its geographic range the species occurs within several protected areas, for example, Lincoln, Gila and Coronado National Forests in the USA (Robbins 2003) and the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve in Mexico (Golubov et al. 2000).
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Notes

Comments

Green fruits of Mammillaria heyderi with fully mature, viable seeds precede the ripe (elongate) fruits by six months to a year.
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