March Monthly Meeting
SPEAKER: Lucas C. Majure, Ph.D. Biologist of New World Succulents, Desert Botanical Garden
TOPIC: Systematics of the Cacti of Cuba and Hispaniola
The Greater Antilles, including Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico are home to a wide diversity of cacti. The two islands with the highest number of species are Cuba with around 40 species followed by Hispaniola with around 30 species of cacti. Although we have a basic understanding of what species occur on the islands and how rare and/or common they are, there have been no comprehensive systematic studies detailing evolutionary relationships and actual species limits. I’ll be outlining ongoing projects on both Cuba and Hispaniola to better understand the cacti of those islands, and I will also underscore the logistical complexities of working in those areas.
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