By James D. Mauseth
This booklet offers 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 type of this travelogue permits us to proportion within the authors' pleasure as they come across crops that experience hardly ever, if ever, been written approximately. approximately 195 awesome colour photos accompany the bright descriptions of surprising cacti turning out to be 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 world wide who desire to study extra approximately those impossible to resist vegetation, and it's the wish of the authors that this e-book 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
An interesting but not particularly convincing theory is that the branches of the host tree are basically a desert habitat: the cactus’s roots run along the surface of the bark, which is moist during a rain but dries quickly afterward, and the roots become stressed for water. Perhaps—but bark is rarely dry in rainforests, and the cactus shoots have almost no water-storage succulent tissue, so they do not appear concerned with drought. And many plants growing alongside the rainforest cacti are not drought adapted: mosses, ferns, gesneriads (the African violet family), and miniature peperomias.
Some taxonomists would classify them all into Echinopsis, making this a very large genus, while others would separate them into the four genera named above. Still others would separate them into even more, smaller genera. It is difficult to say which method is correct. Although it appears that all species are descended from the same ancestral plants, thus making a single genus Echinopsis technically acceptable, it would obscure the great variation in body type. For example, plants of Echinopsis klingleriana are always small and globose, whereas plants of Trichocereus pasacana are small when seedlings but become giant Cacti: Introduction, Biology, and History 27 With its round, green base, numerous short white spines, and white hair, Melocactus schatzlii of Venezuela is easy to recognize.
Most of our travels through lowland Bolivia to the southeast of Santa Cruz pass through habitat such as this. Fortunately for us, the area harbors many unusual cacti. In about May or June, it will be much drier than this. about desert biology and invite faculty and students to participate in our research. Consequently, we now find ourselves in a pickup from a natural history museum in Santa Cruz (called the Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado) accompanied by one of its professors and two of its students who all assure us that, despite the greenery, we really are surrounded by cacti.