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The recent neophyte Opuntia aurantiaca Lindl.: distribution and potential invasion in Spain

AuthorsGómez-Bellver, Carlos; Laguna, Emilio; Agut, Agustí; Ballester, Gabriel; Fos, Simón; Guillot Ortiz, Daniel; Francisco, Simó; Oltra, Josep E.; Pérez Rovira, Patricia; Deltoro, Vicente; Herrando Moraira, Sonia CSIC ORCID ; Nualart, Neus CSIC ORCID ; López-Pujol, Jordi CSIC ORCID
Issue Date2-Oct-2019
CitationXVI Optima Meeting (2019)
AbstractThe Cactaceae, and especially its most emblematic genus, Opuntia, have become one of the groups of plants with greater invasion potential in Spain. In fact, this area is considered one of the three global hotspots of invasion of cacti, together with South Africa and Australia. In our country, one of the most recently detected species is Opuntia aurantiaca Lindl, a small cactus with an enormous capacity of dispersion by means of cladodes and (sterile) fruits, which are easily detached and adhere to animals, clothes, and footwear. Probably native to the Southern Cone (Argentina and Uruguay), it behaves as a very aggressive invader in Australia and South Africa. In Europe, it only occurs on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula (Catalonia and Valencian Community). In this study, the geographic range of the species is updated at the peninsular level. Firstly detected at the beginning of the last decade in Navajas (Castellón), it has been subsequently observed in other places of the province of Castellón, but also in Valencia, Tarragona and Barcelona. With all occurrence data, its potential distribution is estimated using the algorithm of maximum entropy implemented in the program MaxEnt. Distribution models are built for the current climatic conditions as well as for different scenarios of global warming. Due to its possible invasive nature, it is necessary to eradicate the existing populations at this initial stage. Legislation should consider the prohibition of trade and transport of this plant to avoid new introductions.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en el XVI Optima Meeting (Organization for the Phyto-Taxonomic Investigation of the Mediterranean Area), celebrado en Atenas (Grecia), del 2 al 5 de octubre de 2019
Appears in Collections:(IBB) Comunicaciones congresos
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