Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 1249–1287

Is there a future for the Cactaceae genera Copiapoa, Eriosyce and Eulychnia? A status report of a prickly situation

Authors

    • Ghent University Research Group Spermatophytes & Botanical Garden
  • Kirsty Shaw
    • Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)
  • Mauricio A. Cisternas
    • Jardín Botánico Nacional
  • Anna Paizanni Guillén
    • Centro Regional del BajíoInstituto de Ecología, A.C.
  • Suzanne Sharrock
    • Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)
  • Sara Oldfield
    • Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)
  • Paul Goetghebeur
    • Ghent University Research Group Spermatophytes & Botanical Garden
  • Marie-Stéphanie Samain
    • Ghent University Research Group Spermatophytes & Botanical Garden
    • Centro Regional del BajíoInstituto de Ecología, A.C.
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10531-014-0664-z

Cite this article as:
Larridon, I., Shaw, K., Cisternas, M.A. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2014) 23: 1249. doi:10.1007/s10531-014-0664-z

Abstract

Many of Chile’s iconic cactus species are threatened by human activities and global change. In order to safeguard them from extinction, both in situ and ex situ conservation actions are urgently needed. In this paper, an overview is given of the in situ and ex situ conservation status of the mainly Chilean cactus genera Copiapoa, Eriosyce and Eulychnia, including a worldwide survey of living ex situ collections of the species of these genera. From our results, we can conclude that although the threats to Chile’s remarkable biodiversity are now recognized as an environmental problem, and efforts are underway to protect the threatened endemic flora, many of the most threatened species are currently not protected in situ. Although a higher percentage of living accessions of Copiapoa, Eriosyce and Eulychnia in ex situ collections are of known wild origin compared to results of previous studies on other plant groups, the number of available accessions is insufficient to adequately preserve the genetic diversity of the threatened species. Prospects to upscale both in situ and ex situ conservation of the studied genera are discussed.

Keywords

ArgentinaBotanic gardensChileCactaceaeCopiapoaEriosyceEulychniaEx situ conservationIn situ conservationPeruThreatened plant species

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014