A Cactus Odyssey: Journeys in the Wilds of Bolivia, Peru, by James D. Mauseth

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By James D. Mauseth

This ebook provides the tales of 3 avid box biologists who over the process 15 years often traveled jointly looking for cacti in Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. The conversational form of this travelogue permits us to percentage within the authors' pleasure as they come across vegetation that experience hardly ever, if ever, been written approximately. approximately 195 amazing colour images accompany the vibrant descriptions of surprising cacti becoming along non-succulent crops, at altitudes of 8000 toes or more-and even in rainforests! A Cactus Odyssey will curiosity gardeners, tourists, and conservationists from all over the world who desire to research extra approximately those impossible to resist crops, and it's the wish of the authors that this publication will encourage others to adopt their very own cactus odyssey.

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Extra resources for A Cactus Odyssey: Journeys in the Wilds of Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina

Sample text

Members of this subfamily will feature prominently in the following chapters, and more of their story will be told there. The cactus family is a significant, often dramatic part of the vegetation of two large continents. Not only does it dominate the extensive desert regions of the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru, it is a key component of other ecosystems as well. Despite its importance, we still have only a rudimentary knowledge of many aspects of its biology, in particular its evolution, ecology, anatomy, physiology, and reproduction.

Taxonomists believe that this is when the first cacti in the northeastern part of South America became distinct from the ancestors of the portulacas. If cacti had originated earlier while South America and Africa were still attached, we would expect to find cacti in Africa as well as South America. Cacti likely did not arise until after the south Atlantic was so wide that birds could not fly back and forth between South America and Africa (otherwise they would have carried cactus seeds to Africa).

It is more important to know whether plants are closely related to each other than to worry about whether they are the same species. In many cases, taxonomists agree on which plants are closely related. For example, the genus Gymnocalycium occurs widely throughout Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, and Bolivia, but plants of all Gymnocalycium species resemble each other so much that they are easily recognizable as gymnocalyciums. In the years since the first specimen of Gymnocalycium was discovered, 138 species have been named, but some of these are so closely related that they are probably just varieties of one species.

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