Cactaceae, a Weird Family and Postmodern Evolution

  • Andrés Moreira-Muñoz
Part of the Plant and Vegetation book series (PAVE, volume 5)


One of the most charismatic American plant families, the Cactaceae, is well represented in Chile. Biogeographic analysis of the Chilean representatives is rarely undertaken, mainly due to the complex taxonomy of the group. Taking account of the most recent taxonomic treatments and distributional knowledge, an attempt is made here to develop a biogeographic regionalization by means of parsimony analysis of endemism (PAE) and the program NDM/VNDM. The first method yields three areas of endemism in northern Chile bordering the Atacama Desert to the North and to the South, and the second method yields one area which includes North-Central Chile. Advantages and restrictions of the methods are discussed. Finally, the evolution of the family is discussed in relation to the rise of the Atacama Desert and the systematic interpretation of the group


Endemic Species Pacific Decadal Oscillation Middle Miocene Endemic Genus Atmospheric Heat Transport 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pontificia Universidad Católica de ChileInstituto de GeografiaSantiagoChile

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