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PAUCA, Anthony et al. Cactaceae of the district of Atiquipa and of the Lomas of Atiquipa Private Conservation Area: taxonomic, ecological and distribution aspects. Arnaldoa [online]. 2018, vol.25, n.3, pp.829-856. ISSN 1815-8242.

The Cactaceae family is a group of succulent plants that presents difficulties in their taxonomy. Their ecological importance is related to their fundamental role in the maintenance of arid ecosystems, providing ecosystem services such as soil protection against erosion and water infiltration, acting as nurses, providing food and shelter to animals. Field visits were conducted from 2013 to 2016, ranging from 0 to 2900 m of altitude. In the field, morphological and ecological characteristics were recorded, and photographs of each species and their habitats were taken. To determine and describe the species, the data recorded in the field were used, samples from the South Peruvian Herbarium (HSP) and the Herbarium Areqvipense (HUSA) were reviewed and specialized bibliography was consulted. We determined 15 genera and 20 species, where 13 and 8 species are endemic to Peru and Arequipa respectively. We observed that the flowers are visited mostly by bats, birds and insects; their flowering usually occurs at the end of the wet season, both in the hillside community and in the western slopes. The greatest diversity of cactus is distributed from 600 to 1200 m, where humidity is scarce and soils have low organic content. Additionally, a dichotomous key is included for the genera and species present in the district of Atiquipa and in the Lomas de Atiquipa Private Conservation Area

Keywords : Cactoideae; coastal ecosystems; interactions; Opuntioideae.

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