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Cremnocereus albipilosus : an incredible new columnar cactus from Bolivia

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  • International Organisation for Succulent Plant Study
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This data paper presents a largely phylogeny-based online taxonomic backbone for the Cactaceae compiled from literature and online sources using the tools of the EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy. The data will form a contribution of the Caryophyllales Network for the World Flora Online and serve as the base for further integration of research results from the systematic research community. The final aim is to treat all effectively published scientific names in the family. The checklist includes 150 accepted genera, 1851 accepted species, 91 hybrids, 746 infraspecific taxa (458 heterotypic, 288 with autonyms), 17,932 synonyms of accepted taxa, 12 definitely excluded names, 389 names of uncertain application, 665 unresolved names and 454 names belonging to (probably artificial) named hybrids, totalling 22,275 names. The process of compiling this database is described and further editorial rules for the compilation of the taxonomic backbone for the Caryophyllales Network are proposed. A checklist depicting the current state of the taxonomic backbone is provided as supplemental material. All results are also available online on the website of the Caryophyllales Network and will be constantly updated and expanded in the future.
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A bibliographical and herbarium investigation on the pollination syndrome of Mexican columnar cacti (tribe Pachycereeae) was conducted. Most Mexican species of columnar cacti show a chiropterophilic-pollination syndrome and they flower synchronously in March to May. The floral biology, reproductive system and visitors (to both fruits and flowers) of Neobuxbaumia tetetzo, the most abundant and dominant columnar cactus of succulent forest in the Tehuacan Valley, were studied. This species reached densities of c. 1200 individuals ha−1. The bats Leptonycteris curasoae and Choeronycteris mexicana were its only pollinators, whilst a more diverse array of visitors disperse seeds. Contrary to findings for multiple pollinators of columnar cacti in extratropical deserts in North America, the relationships between N. tetetzo and nectar-feeding bats was strong and tightly coupled in Mexico.
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The floral biology, reproductive system, and visitation behavior of pollinators of four species of columnar cacti, Stenocereus griseus, Pilosocereus moritzianus, Subpilocereus repandus, and Subpilocereus horrispinus, were studied in two arid zones in the north of Venezuela. Our results support the hypothesis that Venezuelan species of columnar cacti have evolved toward specialization on bat pollination. Additional information on the floral biology of a fifth species, Pilosocereus lanuginosus, was also included. All species showed the typical traits that characterize the pollination syndrome of chiropterophily. All species but Pilosocereus moritzianus were obligate outcrossers. Nectar and pollen were restricted to nocturnal floral visitors. Two species of nectar-feeding bats, Leptonycteris curasoae Miller and Glossophaga longirostris Miller, were responsible for practically all the fruit set in these cacti. Frequency of bat visitation per flower per night was highly variable within and between species of cactus, with average frequencies varying between 27 and 78 visits/flower/night. In general terms, the pattern of floral visitation through the night was significantly correlated with the pattern of nectar production and nectar sugar concentration for all species of cactus. Under natural pollination, fruit:flower ratios varied from 0.46 in Subpilocereus repandus to 0.76 in Stenocereus griseus. The efficiency of bat pollination in terms of seed:ovule ratio was high in all species, varying between 0.70 and 0.94.
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1. The study of flower-classes does not lead to delimitations of groups, but can supply the ecological background for evolutionary trends in such groups. The preference of visitors is not, as thought by Goebel, always just utilization of a loose incidental character. 2. In the class of sapromyophiles a complex of characters fitted for flies is demonstrated to be a convergence. This explains much in the Annonaceae. In some orchids regression to fly pollination leads to a return to radial symmetry. Knowledge of the character complex serves to revise the separation of genera for conspicuous structures, still inside the ecological complex (Cryptophoranthus and Cirropetalum). 3. In one of the melittophilous subclasses, viz. the Xylocopa-flowers, there evolved a new protection against "unwanted" activities of rude pollinators, an ant-guard. The failing of such contraptions in flowers for birds and bumblebees, used by anti-selectionists, seems an as yet unbalanced condition. 4. The study of the floral spectrum of some families has divulged that some "ecologisms" have already become suprageneric "morphologisms." The parallelism of forms in distant groups is not undirected, kaleidoscopic morphological repetition as believed by Good, but is convergence. 5. In ornithophiles we also find a typical complex of characteristics though superimposed on different, older, "morphological" substrata. There are many transitional flowers, fitted for unspecialized birds. Independent development in the Old and New Worlds has led to differences in style. 6. In chiropterophily we find transitional cases, visited by transitional nectar-bats, still mainly destructive. Some families, as Bignoniaceae and Cactaceae, show a preadaptive basis, sometimes leading separately to bat-pollination in Old- and New-World forms. Some points of the syndrome (flagelliflory and cauliflory) explain typically "tropical" characteristics. Seed-dispersal by bats may also provide a pre-adaptive basis.
Terrestrial ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth: A new global map of terrestrial ecoregions provides an innovative tool for conserving biodiversity
  • D M Olson
  • E Dinerstein
  • E D Wikramanayake
  • N D Burgess
  • G V N Powell
  • E C Under-Wood
  • J A Amico
  • I Itoua
  • H E Strand
  • J C Morrison
OLSON, D.M., DINERSTEIN, E., WIKRAMANAyAKE, E.D., BURGESS, N.D., POWELL, G.V.N., UNDER-WOOD, E.C., D'AMICO, J.A., ITOUA, I., STRAND, H.E. & MORRISON, J.C. (2001). Terrestrial ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth: A new global map of terrestrial ecoregions provides an innovative tool for conserving biodiversity. BioScience 51: 933-938.