Chapter

Population and Community Ecology

Alfonso Valiente-Banuet and Héctor Godínez-Alvarez

in Cacti

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231573
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927889 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520231573.003.0006
Population and Community Ecology

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Cacti show considerable diversity of life form in tropical and subtropical America. Species diversity increases considerably toward the tropics, Mexico being the most important center, with 850 species and 54 genera. This chapter considers the key aspects in the population and community ecology of cacti. It examines how abiotic and biotic factors interact to influence the distribution and abundance of a particular species, leading to particular survivorship, fecundity, growth patterns, and groups of species, with an emphasis on the maintenance of biodiversity. To understand the population dynamics of cacti, the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors should be assessed. The chapter also analyzes the geomorphic history of the localities in which populations of cacti occur to understand population dynamics at the landscape level.

Keywords: cacti; population; community ecology; abiotic factors; biotic factors; survivorship; fecundity; growth patterns; biodiversity; population dynamics

Chapter.  9181 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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