Plant Ecology

, Volume 187, Issue 1, pp 97–108 | Cite as

Demography of the cycad Ceratozamia mirandae (Zamiaceae) under disturbed and undisturbed conditions in a biosphere reserve of Mexico

  • Miguel A. Pérez-Farrera
  • Andrew P. VovidesEmail author
  • Pablo Octavio-Aguilar
  • Jorge González-Astorga
  • Jesús de la Cruz-Rodríguez
  • Rigoberto Hernández -Jonapá
  • Susana Maza Villalobos-Méndez


The cycad Ceratozamia mirandae is endemic to Chiapas, Mexico. Demographic studies were made in two of its populations in the Sepultura Biosphere Reserve under different conservation conditions; in the nucleus zone “Tres Picos” (conserved) and buffer zone “La Sombra” (disturbed and under management). Spatial distribution of C. mirandae was aggregated, showed a clumped local distribution on shallow soils on steep slopes and male and female cones appear to be synchronous in both populations. The population structure was of type I (Bongers) for both sites. Individuals between the sites showed differences in growth pattern. The oldest plants (80–90 cm tall) were estimated to be about 490 years at “La Sombra”. The finite growth rate (\(\lambda\)) in the buffer zone population showed a tendency for decrease whilst in the nucleus zone this estimate remained stable. The highest elasticity values lied in the transition of the first three classes of the “La Sombra” population, in “Tres Picos” this corresponded to adult plants between 20 and 30 cm tall. Given the above, it is proposed that in the nucleus zone, reproductive adults should be of highest conservation priority, whereas in the buffer zone seedling reintroduction should be carried out regularly until the population increases. We recommend an IUCN Red List category of Vulnerable (VU C, 2a), largely due to difficult-to-control destructive annual forest fires that occur in this Reserve.


Chiapas Conservation biology Cycadales Endangered species Finite growth rate Mexico Matrix modelling 


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Authors would like to thank Gunnar Keppel and Francisco González for their comments for improving the manuscript. The first author thanks: Fauna and Flora International Flora (96/64/15; MAPF); FMCN, A.C. (B2-134; MAPF); MAB-US through the Directorate Tropical Ecosystem US; Fish and Wildlife Service (G-350) who financed several phases of the project “Conservation of threatened palms and cycads of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas through sustainable use”. Also CONACyT-SEMARNAT-2002-C01-0183 to A. P.V and J. G-A. The authors give special thanks to Mr Luis Esquinca and his family who provided us all the facilities to carry out this work in the “Ejido La Sombra de la Selva”, Villaflores, Chiapas, Mexico.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel A. Pérez-Farrera
    • 1
  • Andrew P. Vovides
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pablo Octavio-Aguilar
    • 2
  • Jorge González-Astorga
    • 2
  • Jesús de la Cruz-Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Rigoberto Hernández -Jonapá
    • 1
  • Susana Maza Villalobos-Méndez
    • 1
  1. 1.Escuela de BiologíaUNICACHChiapasMexico
  2. 2.Instituto de EcologíaVeracruzMexico

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