Article – WEALTH OF SPECIES DAHLIAS
Marco Carrasco-Ortiz, Guadalupe Munguía Lino, Arturo Castro-Castro, Georgina
Vargas-Amado, Mollie Harker, Aarón Rodríguez
Translation by Martin Král
Background and Objectives: The genus Dahlia (Asteraceae) is native to America and Mexico is its
center of diversification. Dahlia is important in ornamental horticulture, its genetic improvement
has generated more than 15,000 varieties. Mexico represents the main source of germplasm, so a
study of its wealth and geographical distribution is essential. The objectives of this work were to
analyze the richness of dahlia species in Mexico, their geographical distribution and evaluate their
Methods: A database was developed with 1,980 georeferenced records, obtained from herbarium
specimens, publications and from field collections. The information was analyzed using Geographic
Information Systems, the species abundance was estimated by political division, vegetation types,
regions, biogeographic provinces, elevational, latitudinal and longitudinal ranges, a 33 × 33 km grid
and Protected Natural Areas (ANP).
Key results: Dahlia has 38 species, all grown in Mexico, 35 are endemic. The genre is present in 26
states. Hidalgo and Oaxaca have the largest number of species, followed by Guerrero. The state of
Jalisco shows the greatest collection effort. Commonly, Dahlia species inhabit coniferous and oak
forests. Its range of distribution covers from 24 to 3,810 m elevation, but the greatest number of
species grows between 2,000 and 2,500 m. Two areas of greatest richness of dahlia species were
found in Mexico. The first is in the northeast of Querétaro, east of Guanajuato and southeast of San
Luis Potosí, in the Sierra Madre Oriental, the other in the northwest of Oaxaca, in the Sierra Madre
del Sur. Finally, 23 species live within a Natural Protected Area. The Sierra Gorda in the state of
Querétaro concentrates the greatest number of species.
Conclusions: The analysis of the species richness and its distribution showed that the greatest
diversity of Dahlia is found in the Mexican Transition Zone in the provinces of Sierra Madre del Sur
and Sierra Madre Oriental.
Complete text found in Acta Botanica Mexicana 126:e1354
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