Cycads volume 4 issue 2 is released!

The latest issue of Cycads, the official newsletter of IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Groups was published!


Find interesting updates on cycad research and conservation in this webpage:




Cycads Vol. 4 is published!

The new volume of “CYCADS”, the newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Cycad Specialist Group, was published.

This time I am contributing with the article “Speciation processes in Mexican cycads: our research progress on the genus Dioon“. I hope that our proposed hypotheses can be applied in other cycad genera.

Full citation:

Gutiérrez-Ortega J.S., Salinas-Rodríguez M.M., Pérez-Farrera M.A., Vovides A.P. 2019. Speciation processes in Mexican cycads: our research progress on the genus Dioon. Cycads: Official Newsletter of IUCN SSC Cycad Specialist Group. Vol. 4(1), p. 10-11, ISSN 2473-442X.

Find the publication in this site:




Presentation in the 83th Annual Meeting of the Botanical Society of Japan

I really enjoyed all great conferences in the the 83th Annual Meeting of the Botanical Society of Japan, in Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.

I am specially grateful to those interested in my poster presentation “Niche conservatism promotes ecological speciation in the cycad Dioon merolae (Zamiaceae) in Mexico”. All comments and advices are being very useful to glimpse the future direction of my research. Thank you very much! And see you next year!

Further information about the meeting is in its official webpage:






Presentation in the Japan Plant Systematics meeting 2019

The Plant Systematics meeting of the Japan Society for Plant Systematics (植物分類学会) was held in Hachioji, Tokyo, during 7–9 March, 2019. Many experts in the field of systematics and evolutionary biology presented their excellent researches. Thank you very much!

I participated in this meeting by providing a talk entitled: “Niche conservatism promotes ecological speciation in the cycad Dioon merolae (Zamiaceae) in Mexico”. This is part of my current research as postdoctoral fellow in Chiba University. I hope I can try to publish the results I presented in this meeting soon. Thanks everyone for the advises I received!


Further information about the meeting (Japanese only):


Dioon vovidesii: a new cycad species in Mexico

Multidisciplinary evidence suggest that Dioon populations in Sonora, Mexico, comprise two different and isolated lineages in accordance to geographic distribution. In this paper, we recognise that the type morphology of Dioon sonorense only occurs at the southern populations, and northern populations show different features that justify its taxonomic recognition as a new species, Dioon vovidesii sp. nov.


Full citation:

Gutiérrez-Ortega J.S., Jiménez-Cedillo K., Pérez-Farrera M.A., Martínez J.F., Molina-Freaner F., Watano Y., Kajita T. 2018. Species definition of Dioon sonorense (Zamiaceae, Cycadales), and description of D. vovidesii, a new cycad species from Northwestern Mexico. Phytotaxa 369 (2): 107-114. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.369.2.4

New paper: Identification of hotspots of endemism in Eastern Mexico

I collaborated with my colleague and friend María Magdalena Salinas-Rodríguez et al. in our paper entitled “Identification of endemic vascular plant species hotspots and the effectiveness of the Protected Areas for their conservation in Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico”.

Sierra Madre Oriental is one mountain chain in Eastern Mexico, recognised for sheltering a very rich diversity of endemic vascular plant species. However, endemism was not considered when proposing the current conservation areas. Using geographic information systems, we calculated that 66% of endemic species are protected. In addition, we propose new areas that would protect the remaining 34% of endemic species. This study encourage future conservation plans to consider levels of endemisms as a criterion for the establishment of conservation areas.


Full citation:

Salinas-Rodríguez M.M., Sajama M.J., Gutiérrez Ortega J.S, Ortega-Baes P., Estrada-Castillón A.E. 2018. Identification of endemic vascular plant species hotspots and the effectiveness of the Protected Areas for their conservation in Sierra Madre Oriental, Mexico. Journal for Nature Conservation.

Participation in the 11th International Meeting on Cycad Biology

The 11th International Meeting on Cycad Biology was held in Nelspruit, South Africa, on August 20-24, 2018. Webpage:

The participation by all the cycad fellows was amazing! Especially those contributions with a strong focus on the conservation for this threatened plant group. It was a meeting full of knowledge, common interests, nice researchers and fun times.

I contributed in this meeting with three talks corresponding to our three latest published papers. In the Conservation session, on August 20th, I presented the paper:

1- “Considering evolutionary processes in cycad conservation: identification of evolutionarily significant units within Dioon sonorense (Zamiaceae) in northwestern Mexico”. I complemented the information of this research with our most recent progress on the taxonomy to describe a new species, as derived from this work.

On August 23th, the Systematics session included two of my presentations:

2- “The phylogeography of the cycad genus Dioon (Zamiaceae) clarifies its Cenozoic expansion and diversification in the Mexican transition zone”


3- “Aridification as a driver of biodiversity: A case study for the cycad genus Dioon (Zamiaceae)”

My colleague and friend Miguel Angel Pérez-Farrera also presented our advances in our research on the species Dioon merolae.

4- “Morphological variation of Dioon merolae (Zamiaceae)”


With these presentations, we shared the progress of our researches on cycad sciences, and promote other researchers to build bigger knowledge in the basis of our contributions.

And finally, I was surprised and glad to be awarded as a “early-carreer researcher” in this meeting! This award encourages me to resume my research with even bigger inspiration! Thanks for the honours!


José Said Gutiérrez Ortega