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cacti forests

Side-by-side image of two desert vistas. At left, a hillside with low green shrubbery is also filled with hundreds of taller, gray cacti. At right, a more sparsely filled desert plateau features several tall green cacti each with many tall arms.

In arid ecosystems, cacti are primary resources for insects and arthropods that depend on dead or decaying wood. A new research review published in August in Annals of the Entomological Society of America explores this relationship and its ecological implications. Shown here are cactus forests in the Barranca de Metztitlán Biosphere Reserve in Hidalgo, Mexico (a) and Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve in Puebla, Mexico (b). Photos by Ana Paola Martínez-Falcón, Ph.D.)

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