Haageocereus: Taxonomy for the Conservation of the Genus in Peru.

Moya-Mendez, Natalia Calderon (2006). Haageocereus: Taxonomy for the Conservation of the Genus in Peru. MPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fe5c


The genus Haageocereus (Cactaceae) is mostly endemic o f Peru, occupying arid areas draining westwards o f Andes. In Peru, Haageocereus is found between 50 to 2800 m, from 79°54’W, 5°7’S (dept. Piura) to 70°52’W, 18°0’S (dept. Tacna).

The understanding of this genus has been limited by several nomenclature problems such as multiple descriptions for relatively few species, and most of the types are very poor or absent, and cases of misapplication of names also exist. In terms of conservation, speed of habitat loss is worrying for most of the environments where Haageocereus occurs, especially because there are very few populations included in national protected areas.

Extensive fieldwork, morphological studies, literature revision and study of types led to the delimitation of 9 species and 6 heterotypic subspecies recognized in this work. Descriptions and keys are accompanied by line drawings, photos and distribution maps. SEM photos were also produced for almost every taxon. Exsiccata prepared during this study constitute approximately the 79.2% of existing Haageocereus herbarium samples from wild origin.

Conservation assessments based on the Red List IUCN categories (2001) determined 3 taxa as Critically Endangered, 8 taxa as Endangered and 5 taxa as Vulnerable in Peru. Five different types of habitat for Haageocereus have been identified, described and correlated to different kinds of threats in order to present a list of proposed protected areas and recommendations for the conservation of these taxa.

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