Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Distribution and conservation of Portulaca (Portulacaceae) in Cuba.

Abstract

Background: The studies on Portulaca in Cuba lack a consensus about the taxa found in the country. The species are poorly represented in herbarium collections and for them broader geographical distributions are inferred. This situation makes it difficult to assess the risk of extinction of Portulaca in Cuba and, therefore, the implementation of conservation actions. Questions: How are native and naturalized Portulaca species distributed in Cuba? What is the conservation status of the native species?Study site and dates: Cuba, 1902-2020. Methods: The presence records of species were georeferenced and the geographical, ecological and phytogeographic distribution was determined for each. The conservation status of native species was evaluated according to the IUCN categories and criteria. Results: Portulaca in Cuba includes 11 native (one endemic) and one naturalized species, distributed throughout the country, mostly in coastal vegetation complexes and xeromorphic scrublands. Three species are Critically Endangered, five Endangered, one Near Threatened and two are considered as Least Concern. The main threats are ranching and fires. In most species, less than half of the area of occupancy is in protected areas. Conclusions: The distribution of Portulaca in Cuba was updated and the first complete evaluation of the conservation status of the genus in the country is presented. Among the species under study, patterns of disjunction or vicariance, geographic or ecological, cannot be identified. Most species are threatened with extinction; however, the genus is widely represented in protected areas.