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Opuntia humifusa

Opuntia humifusa

Opuntia humifusa

Opuntia is a genus of cactus. It is commonly known as the nopal cactus, prickly pear, and Mexican fig.Germination rate is reported to be low for seeds of Opuntia species [76]. In laboratory tests, it was found that devil's-tongue seeds collected from rabbit fecal scats had a higher germination rate than seeds collected from unconsumed fruits. Seeds collected from the scats required an average germination time of 41 days and had a germination rate of 25%. Seeds collected from non-eaten fruits required 71 days and germinated at a rate of 18% [26].Fire information specific to this species is lacking. Opuntia spp. are adapted to survive low-severity fire by sprouting from the caudex and by layering from pads that were buried or protected in the litter layer [20,75]. Prickly-pear cacti colonize burned areas when off-site seed is transported on-site by animals [78].

Opuntia

Opuntia spp. may increase in abundance during droughty periods because of a reduction in other plant species that are not as drought tolerant. Also, dry conditions are not as favorable for some of the insects that can be the most damaging to pricklypears. As moisture levels increase in years following drought, insect damage to pricklypears can be high, and native grasses and forbs begin to reestablish on the site near clumps of pricklypear where the clumps create a favorable microsite for seed germination [2].There is some indication that Opuntia spp. may increase in response to heavy grazing. However, researchers are not sure if pricklypear populations respond to a reduction of the preferred forage species, or if the grazing animals simply provide for improved spread and establishment of the cacti by transporting the pads on their bodies [13]. Eastern prickly pear is in the Cactaceae (Cactus) family.

This family contains about 1,800 species all but possibly one or two native to the New World. The prickly pears are considered an old group within the cactus family with about 150 species in Opuntia. It has the largest range of any cactus in the United States and can be found from New Mexico and Montana east to Florida and Massachusetts. It is also found in Ontario. Eastern prickly pear can form large colonies or occur as a few individuals in an area. In older botanical manuals, it is often listed as Opuntia compressa.Eastern prickly pear is in the Cactaceae (Cactus) family. The prickly pears are considered an old group within the cactus family with about 150 species in Opuntia. It has the largest range of any cactus in the United States and can be found from New Mexico and Montana east to Florida and Massachusetts. It is also found in Ontario. Eastern prickly pear can form large colonies or occur as a few individuals in an area. In older botanical manuals, it is often listed as Opuntia compressa. (Source: plants.ces.ncsu.edu)

 

 

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