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Article
Published: 2021-06-24

Two new species of nopal (Opuntia, Cactaceae) from the Baja California Peninsula (Mexico)

Programa de Posgrado. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, SC. CIBNOR, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Currently: Gerencia de Reforestación y Restauración de Cuencas Hidrógráficas, Comisión Nacional Forestal, Zapopan, CP 45019, Jalisco, Mexico.
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, SC. Apdo. Postal 128, La Paz, CP 23000, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Botany Dpt., San Diego Natural History Museum, 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA, 92101 USA.
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, SC. Apdo. Postal 128, La Paz, CP 23000, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, SC. Apdo. Postal 128, La Paz, CP 23000, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Cacti Cape region Peninsular Biodiversity Prickly Pear Cacti Eudicots

Abstract

Two new species of prickly-pear/nopal (Opuntia sierralagunensis and O. caboensis, Cactaceae) are described and illustrated here; both occur in the tropical deciduous forest plant community found in the Cape region of the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico. Previously, these two species had been overlooked and were considered extreme forms of species described from the Sierra de La Giganta (e.g., O. comonduensis, O tapona), located hundreds of kilometers away. However, with an improved collection of specimens and field knowledge of the Opuntia species in the region, we have determined that these prickly-pears are new to science and are restricted to the Cape region. We provide justification to separate them from sympatric congeners and other similar species in the southern peninsula.

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