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Editor's Picks

Group photos Texas OODs
Five days of oaking in the Lone Star State.
Roderick Cameron | Oct 21, 2023
Tour Participants on Fiddler Peak
An account of the Tour guided by Sean Hogan
Website Editor | Oct 19, 2023
Quercus pacifica
An collection specializing in native Californian oaks
Christina Varnava | Oct 18, 2023

Plant Focus

A small but mature Alabama sandstone oak producing acorns © Patrick Thompson
A Critically Endangered dwarf oak 

Conservation of Quercus macdougallii Martinez, a Microendemic Species of Sierra Norte, Oaxaca, México

Project Contact: Cecilia Liana Alfonso Corrado, Professor, Universidad de la Sierra Juárez, Avenida Universidad S/N, Ixtlán de Juárez, Oaxaca, México. C.P. 68725.

Project Summary: The project aims to survey Quercus macdougallii to understand its current total distribution and population structure, assess the impact of climate change on its populations, identify the variables that affect its abundance and distribution, and analyze and evaluate its regeneration. Additionally, the project will raise awareness around the importance of this species to the local communities.

Executive Summary: Sierra Norte, located in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, is a place considered a priority worldwide for its richness in ecosystems and species, in addition to its cultural diversity as it is inhabited by native Zapotec, Chinantec, and Mixe communities. Among its species, relict, rare and micro endemic species stand out. Among the endemic treasures, a beautiful and unique oak (Q. madgouagallii Martinez) stands out, which lives up to 3200 m asl. This oak species has few populations with few non-reproductive adult individuals, which is why it is threatened by the process of land use change and natural disturbances such as fires and snowfall. Currently, even when aspects of its ecological and genetic distribution are known.

It is necessary to delve into reproductive aspects and estimate its real and potential population size, future modeling, and promote that the communities where the species is distributed value and socially appropriate this resource and its benefits. This is to promote appropriate conservation strategies in the short and long term. As fieldwork, the search for new populations will be expanded based on modeling the species' potential distribution. In each population found, its population size will be estimated, in addition to quantifying its size structure using 50 x 50 m plots. The species' reproductive system will be studied, and seeds will be collected for viability, germination, growth, and survival tests. A projective model will be made with Maxent to know the effect of climate change. Finally, participatory workshops are intended to value the importance of the species and its benefits for the Chinantec and Zapotec communities to appropriate this natural asset. The conservation of this species is a priority because of its ecosystem contributions and as a reservoir of associated biodiversity, whose disappearance leads to a cascading extinction process.

Further Reading

Quercus macdougallii

Species Spotlight: Quercus macdougallii Martínez
Nelly Pacheco Cruz