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Plant population and habitat characteristics of the endemic Sonoran Desert cactus Peniocereus striatus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

Madroño

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Abstract

Peniocereus striatus (Brandegee) Buxb. (Cactaceae) is an endemic Sonoran Desert cactus that reaches its northern range limit in southwestern Arizona. One U.S. population occupies a small area of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the U.S./Mexico international boundary, which has been monitored since 1939. An extensive survey conducted in 2002, covering 177 ha, resulted in the discovery of 88 new plants, in addition to the relocation of 57 plants found in previous surveys. Despite potential increases in population size and spatial distribution, mean plant height and number of basal stems has not significantly changed in recent years. Bud scars revealed that a majority of the population was sexually mature. Peniocereus striatus occurrence increased with decreasing slope, spanned every slope aspect, and was highest on rocky soils, but was noticeably low on west and northwest slopes and areas where severe land degradation had previously occurred. Over half of P. striatus plants were nursed by shrubs and subshrubs, while 40% occurred under leguminous trees. A severe frost in January 2002 top-killed 19% of the population, with the greatest damage in drainage bottoms. However, long-term (1944–2002) climate records show that there has been an overall increase in the number of frost free days in the region, which, coupled with land use change, has implications for the future health of this population.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Plant population and habitat characteristics of the endemic Sonoran Desert cactus Peniocereus striatus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona
Series title:
Madroño
Volume
57
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
California Botanical Society
Publisher location:
Berkeley, CA
Contributing office(s):
Southwest Biological Science Center
Description:
9 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Madroño
First page:
220
Last page:
228
Time Range Start:
2002-01-01
Time Range End:
2002-12-31
Country:
United States
State:
Arizona
Other Geospatial:
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument