Cuatro Ciénegas Basin: An Endangered Hyperdiverse Oasis

Plant Diversity and Ecology in the Chihuahuan Desert

Emphasis on the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin

Editors: Mandujano, Maria del Carmen, Pisanty, Irene, Eguiarte, Luis E. (Eds.)

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  • The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin has a diversity of plants growing in different environments with remarkable adaptations and behaviorThe basin has undergone severe disturbances affecting the plants and vegetation evolutionThe book depicts environmental changes and dynamics rarely recorded in the desert vegetation literatureAll chapters were written by experts who have directly worked in the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin

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About this book

Environmental and specific diversity in the Chihuahuan desert in general, and in the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin in particular, has long been recognized as outstanding. This book provides a global ecological overview, together with in-depth studies of specific processes. The Chihuahuan desert is the warmest in North America, and has a complex geologic, climatic and biogeographical history, which affects today’s distribution of vegetation and plants and generates complex phylogeographic patterns.

The high number of endemic species reflects this complex set of traits. The modern distribution of environments, including aquatic and subaquatic systems, riparian environments, gypsum dunes and gypsum-rich soils, low levels of phosphorous and organic matter, and high salinity combined with an extreme climate call for a range of adaptations. Plants are distributed in a patchy pattern based on punctual variations, and many of them respond to different resources and conditions with considerable morphological plasticity. In terms of physiological, morphological and ecological variability, cacti were identified as the most important group in specific environments like bajadas, characterized by high diversity values, while gypsophytes and gypsovagues of different phylogenies, including species with restricted distribution and endemics.


About the authors

María C. Mandujano studied Biology at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), and obtained her PhD from the National Autonomous University (UNAM), prior to completing her postdoctoral studies at New Mexico State University, awarded with a grant for a plant ecology project on the LTER (long term ecological research) program. She is currently a researcher at UNAM’s Ecology Institute, where she and her students have been studying various ecological aspects of cacti and pollinators in Cuatro Ciénegas and Mapimí, in the Chihuahuan Desert, and more recently in the drylands of Querétaro. Dr. Mandujano works with threatened and invasive plant species along the North American Deserts, being Cuatro Ciénegas one of her favorite places, as a centre of endemism and a unique oasis. She has made important contributions to the demography, life history and floral biology of desert plants, especially in cacti. She is the editor of the Mexican Journal Cactáceas y Suculentas Mexicanas.

Irene Pisanty studied Biology at the School of Sciences (Facultad de Ciencias) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where she also obtained her Master’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. She is currently an Associate Professor at the same School of Sciences, where she teaches on ecology, population ecology, natural resources and life histories. She is also interested in the implementation of environmental policies based on sound scientific knowledge and worked as a project manager for Ecosystem Conservation at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (1995-1998), and as a senior advisor to the president of the National Institute of Ecology (INE) (2001-2007). She is currently exploring the responses of soils and plants to water overexploitation and the disturbances it is producing in the Basin, as well as the functional responses of plants in gypsum environments.

Luis E. Eguiarte studied Biology at the School of Sciences (Facultad de Ciencias) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where he completed his PhD in Ecology in 1990. He subsequently did a postdoc at the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California at Riverside, under the direction of Professor Michael Clegg. He joined UNAM as an Associate Professor in 1992, and is currently a professor at its Department of Evolutionary Ecology. In 2011 he was awarded the Faustino Miranda Medal by the Institute of Ecology, UNAM, in recognition of his outstanding academic contributions to Ecology. In his research, he studies the evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that generate diversity and adaptation in different organisms, in addition to conservation genetics and the domestication of Mexican plants. He has studied these problems in plants (including Agave, Abies, Bursera, Cucurbita and Zea), in bacteria, in particular in Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila, in the Chihuahuan desert, and in various species of mammals and birds, using modern genetic and statistical methods and genomic data.

Table of contents (19 chapters)

Table of contents (19 chapters)
  • Diversity and Uniqueness at Its Best: Vegetation of the Chihuahuan Desert

    Pages 1-17

    Zavala-Hurtado, José Alejandro (et al.)

  • Phylogeography of the Chihuahuan Desert: Diversification and Evolution Over the Pleistocene

    Pages 19-44

    Scheinvar, Enrique (et al.)

  • The Evolution of North American Deserts and the Uniqueness of Cuatro Ciénegas

    Pages 45-60

    Ezcurra, Exequiel (et al.)

  • Diversity and Distribution of Cacti Species in the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin

    Pages 61-73

    Martínez-Ávalos, José Guadalupe (et al.)

  • Reproductive Biology of Grusonia bradtiana (Cactaceae): A Dominant Species and Endemic Clonal Cactus from Cuatro Ciénegas Basin and Contiguous Areas in the Chihuahuan Desert

    Pages 75-94

    Plasencia-López, Lucía (et al.)

Buy this book

eBook $129.00
price for Mexico
  • ISBN 978-3-030-44963-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $169.99
price for Mexico
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Plant Diversity and Ecology in the Chihuahuan Desert
Book Subtitle
Emphasis on the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin
Editors
  • Maria del Carmen Mandujano
  • Irene Pisanty
  • Luis E. Eguiarte
Series Title
Cuatro Ciénegas Basin: An Endangered Hyperdiverse Oasis
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-44963-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-44963-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-44962-9
Series ISSN
2523-7284
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 327
Number of Illustrations
34 b/w illustrations, 55 illustrations in colour
Topics