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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Flores-Moreno, Habacuc [1], Golubov, Jordan [2], Mandunjano, Francisco [3], Mandujano, Maria [4].

The effect of Cactoblastis cactorum on wild and cultivated populations of Opuntia species in Mexico using matrix population models.

The study of exotic species and their interactions is of vital importance due to their increasing impact on biodiversity. The description of the fundamental biological processes underlying the interactions between exotic and native species could help determine the extent of potential damage by exotic species. Cactoblastis cactorum (cactus moth) is a phytophagous insect native of South America, and is specialist on the genus Opuntia. The cactus moth has been used as a biological control agent for exotic Opuntia species since its successful control of the Opuntia invasion in Australia during the 1920’s. However its presence in Florida since 1989 and Mexico since august 2006 places C. cactorum as a potential threat to native Opuntia and is special concern to Mexico because it is center of diversification of the genus and most species have biological, social and economic importance. In this study we modeled the demographic effects of an invasion by C. cactorum on wild and cultivated populations of Opuntia, using Lefkovitch matrix population models. Demographic data was obtained for one wild and one cultivated species of prickly pears and the damage by C. cactorum was simulated with matrix population models. Perturbations were done on the matrix elements simulating the reduction of demographic processes according to the damage reported by the cactus moth on wild Opuntia in South Africa. Unaffected populations showed numerical equilibrium or moderate population increase, while a 10% reduction in plant growth in juvenile or adult plants decreased the rate of population increase considerably. The effect C. cactorum could have on populations of Opuntia was relatively severe in wild populations. This information suggests that C. cactorum will negatively impact Opuntia species throughout Mexico affecting many economies based on Opuntia products.

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1 - Instituto de Ecología, UNAM, Ecologa de la Biodiversidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Apdo. Postal 70-275, México D. F., México D. F., 04510, México
2 - Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, El Hombre y Su Ambiente, Calz. del Hueso 1100, Col. Villa Quietud, Del. Coyoacan, Mexico D. F., DF, 04960, Mexico
3 - Centro de Investigación en Energía UNAM, Privada Xochicalco S/N Col. Centro Apdo. Postal 34, Temixco, Morelos, 62580, Mexico
4 - Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Instituto de Ecologia, Ciudad Universitaria, A.P. 70-275, Mexico, D.F., 04510, Mexico

Cactoblastis cactorum
biological invasion
matrices models.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PEC026
Abstract ID:580

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