111. Mesquite (PROSOPZSSPP) Ince ancient times' the mesquite (Prosopis spp.

) Has been a valuable resource fo r residents dc arid, quiencs found in it many benefits, as all plant parts are l ikely to be useful. Has been considered a common cultural denominator nomadic hu nter-gatherers who lived in northern Mexico and southern United States (CON, VA, 1994). Collectors knew his sin as his crop phenology and marked the dc name you r monthly calendar, the same with gmpos of taro to agricultorcs as the Pima: Chi chimecs of the pre mesquite were in a basic plan for food, and in saw "El Pinaca te". in Sonora, have been found stone mills (grinding stones) to make mesquite f lour. dating back to 1200 A.C. These types of mills are still used by pipagos an d Seri. Their use has continued over a long time, accounting for the Indians, se ttlers and pioneers. one of the most useful plant resources, as it were obtained : firewood, coal, rubber, rnatcriales of constmcción, food, fodder, nectar for b ees, shade. tools, medicine and toys. Also highlights the ecological role of the mosque, which is an excellent soil binder and therefore, controlling erosion, i t is fijadorde nitrogen, thus soil fertility improve it, provide food and shelte r for wildlife, and acts as mantc depth indicator frcático (freatofita). Marta Ramirez Cervantes Conceoción Urban sprawl and increased livestock activities in the forties considerable nian era affected by mesquite communities, many of which were replaced by grasslands that were not always as successful as expected. However, even today, the inezqui te remains an important resource for people in arid, who carry out their use as a complementary activity to agriculture, livestock and spontaneous exploitation of other resources. Scientific classification and description of the plant Kingdom phylum class Superfamily Family: Genus: Species: Name Plants (Plantae) Spermatophytae (Spermatophyta) Dicotyledons (Dicotiledoneae) Le gumes (Leguminosae) Mimosáceas (Mhosaceae) Prosopis spp. (Variety) Prosopis spp. Mesquite is a thorny tree or shrub, perennial, can grow to 10 m high, according to soil depth. Root. Its taproot can reach up to 50 m deep to reach the groundwater aquifer, la teral roots extend in a radius of up to 15 m. Trunk); branches. Woody trunk, bar k dark or negmzca; tlexuosas branches, forming a spherical glass or depressed. T he young branches are thorny and frequently devoid of leaves. Leaves. They are m ade (with the limb divided), bipinnate with 12-15 pairs of leaflets oblong or li near, 5-10 mm long, more or nieiios persistent, but deciduous in winter. The off spring are born from March to May and stay until December. Ccannmica imoortancia plants in arid semiarid hlevico v Flores. They are very small, greenish-yellow, clustered in infloresceiiciasen sp ike-shaped clusters: Aronia nectar and produce a pleasant that attracts pollinat ors. They are hermaphroditic, the radial symmetry (actinomorphic), with five sep als, five petals and ten stamens, ovary superior, unilocular, unicarpelar and pa rietal placentation, the stigma is concave. It blooms for a short period startin g in February-March and ends in April-May. Fruit. The fruits are pods or legumes oblong, straight or curved, 10 to 30 cm long, straw-colored to reddish purple. The mesocarp contains a thick, spongy pulp with a sweet taste and contains 12 to 20 seeds. The fruit is from May to August and harvested between August and Octo ber. Seed. It is oblong or flattened, tough, its color varies from light to dark brown. The spread of seeds is zoophilic and endozoica, ie, their dispersion is done through the digestive tract of animals. Geographic distribution and ecologi cal aspects fitogeográficodel The origin mesquite (Prosopis spp.) Is located in Africa, where it persists as a single species .. Prosopis africana, with little

specialized features (Davila, 1983:136). Globally there are 44 species of Prosop is, 42 of which are found in the Americas, divided into two major centers: the U .S. (Mexican-Rejano) and South America (Argentina, Paraguay and Chile). The comp lex U.S., according to Rzedowski (l988), has nine species, one with two varietie s, all in the country.€Its distribution covers almost the entire Mexican territo ry, except for mountainous areas and the lower parts of southeast Turkey, is par ticularly abundant in arid and semiarid areas, although Concepción blaiia Cervanies Rarnirez ecological range allows it to be located in areas with average temperatures rang ing from 20-29 "C, with rainfall ranging between 350 and 1200 mm annually. It is found from sea level up to 2200 m altitude, growing preferably in the plains an d lowlands, deep soils suitable for agric ~!: Ura, which has caused his desplaza niiento many sites. Among the adaptations to arid environments mesquite is the b readth and depth of its root system and reduction of leaf system. The tree life form indicating availability of shallow groundwater, so that farmers use it with the indicator of potential water sources, the shrub is related to deep groundwat er. The nine species mesquite (one with two varieties) and their geographical di stribution in Mexico can be seen in Figures 2 and 3: Prosopis arliculata S. Wars, which grows in small areas of Sonora and Baja Calif ornia Sur. i? glandulosa var. Glandulosa Torr., Dominant in northern Mexico in the states o f Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, Nuevo Leon and northern Tamaulipas. i? glandulosa L. var Torreyana Benson, the more aggressive species that grows rn Baja California, Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas. i? julijlora (Swarts) DC, which develops along the Pacific coastal plain, from S inaloa to Central: the less xerophytic species, and precipitation which tolerate s up to 1500 mm annually. P laeiiguta (Humb. and Borlppl.) M. C. Johnsi, located in the central and southern Mexico in the states of Aguascalientes, ~ Im Plants economic ortancia in arid and semiarid regions of Mexico Durango, Guanajiiato of Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan. Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz and Zacatecas. P ~ palmeri Vulso endemic to Baja California. Pubescens P Gruyere, north of Chihuahua and Baja California. f? repionc; VUR. cinerascens Gruyere, halophyte shrub that grows in northern Tam aulipas, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila and extends into southern Texas. f? iumuulipana Burkharr, which takes place within the limits of the states of San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas and Veracruz, restricted to the dry pa rt of the Huasteca. f? velirtinu TVooton, located in a small area of the state of Sonora. The states of the Republic to stand by the mesquite forest production are: Sonora, San Lui s Potosi, Tamaulipas, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Durango, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon. O f lesser importance are the states of: Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja Cal ifornia Sur, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Querétaro, and Sinaloa (Dávila, 1983: 1 36). Economic importance and uses Mesquite was a resource of paramount importance to the first inhabitants of the

arid and semiarid areas. because of the different uses that each group gave. Iir ímadas These people, who lived by hunting and gathering, they met the usefulness of mesquite as food, fuel, shade, medicinal plant and for the interaction of se veral elass utensils and toys. As early as the x ~ x we found other uses as fodd er, charcoal, beekeeping, extracting rubber and material for housing constructio n. They have continued throughout the twentieth century. which has made nrezquit e Marta Concepcion Ramirez Czrvantes Stick pobiicri hicro Prosoprs Prosopis arricirlaro Mesquite l Pubescens Prosoprs Prosopis yladulosa Mesquite Mesquite Figure 3. Mesquite (Source: Roberts, 1989). 58 Imponancia economic plants in arid and semiarid regions of Mexico iniportancia a rich resource for the Ronas habituntes sriniáridas dry and delpai c (Table 2). All plant parts are used) t among the most common uses. are the fol lowing: wood. The wood is hard, tough, with a polished shine Iiermoso. though so mewhat brittle and inflexible, which limits their commercial use. It is used in the production of handmade furniture, highlighting the elaborate marquetry work in Zacatecas, Morelos, Guerrero and Puebla Guatiajuato. Its hardness makes it id eal for this activity and allows it to be used in the manufacture of other resis tance devices, such as sleepers, hardwood floors. hurts, Honna shoe, tool handle s and kitchen utensils, and utilized for the constr ~ ~ ccióii rural areas (Sign oret, cit. at in Gómez et al., 1970). Is processed as Brazuelo, boards and plank s, fence posts, logs, logs, etc.. Conibustible.€The mesquite is considered the q uintessential wood resources in rural communities in arid and semiarid regions. where branches are used as fuel almost unique, for cooking, heating furnaces agu ay or for home heating. The farmers collect the volumes needed to meet their sho rt-term needs, but occasionally collect surplus for marketing. There are no deta ils identifying the volumes of operation, as it is called "ant operation." and a ttended by many collectors, totally anarchic, without taking into account the re source consenlación and causing serious problems of deforestation. To obtain fir ewood, farmers need to move between 1 and 7 km (sometimes up to 30 km), but cons ider this form of energy is the cheapest for them, despite the human effort requ ired. Another fuel product derived from the mesquite of great economic importanc e is coal, which is obtained by heating wood in the absence of air. This work Marta Cervantes Ramlrcr Conccocinn is done by many people in rural areas who find it a supplementary income eii. Forrcdr. The main timber Prodi ~ cro is the fruit of the mesquite pod iitilizada IIAM not as food for various types of livestock. In the form of flour has high

demand for livestock stables or dairy breeds semiestabuladacon gray or fattening Hereford, Arzgus, Aberdeeri and criollo types are also sumiriistraaotros Degan, and the pigs and goats and, inenor intensity. the horses, donkeys and mules. MS DI IRS use is the manual collection, which shall conduct in the months July to S eptember. It is a family activity that helps to mitigate the plight of these far mers, caused by agricultural losses resulting from prolonged droughts, which oft en end Temporalera crops and rangeland forage. It is estimated that a family can collect 200 kg daily A250 sheath (COYMA. 1994:18). Although the main value of m esquite as fodder lies in the fruit. it is common practice cattle feedlot no bro wsing, qiie is the consumption of leaves and shoots of mesquite: apart. the mezq iiites provide shade, which is very important in these regions. due to the high temperatures recorded during the day. Gum. Exudates are released when the tree is wounded in the bark or branches and tcene SIIS resemblance to gum arabic. There are two types of tires: tina white o r amber color that is used in folk medicine, the other is black rubber, rigid, b rittle and astringent to taste. with high tannin content and is used as a dye. T he cancteristicas of mesquite gums indicate its potential for use as the rubber siistituto imported. Orros 11. ~ 0s. tnezquite wood contains from 5 to 9% tannins. Which can also be used in a comprehensive program of resource exploitation, the same applies to th e procurement of ethyl alcohol. Consumed as food or pods Table 2. Uses and benefits of mesquite bark usable part Human feeding and gastri tis Antidesentérico Medicine Infusion of pieces of bark branches Javen. Honey pr oduced by bees that suck the nectar of the flower. Fresh fruit, fruit in syrup, mesquite pinole, rnezquite cheese, brown sugar, porridge and wine. Goma, sweet c hildren. Laryngitis. Gum for infusiún dissolved. i Forage Tanning Forest. Mesquite bark. Flower Sheath and flour consumption Fruit and vai na I Rubber Gunpowder. Low-power (rubber). Dyes. To dye wool (rubber). Browsing green foliag e dry. Cattle, goats, sheep, horses. asses, mules and pigs. Fertilizer org2nico. The foliage forms a thick mulch Sheets Antiseptic. Eye Wash infusion from the leaves. Antidesentérico and gastritis. Em ollient. Desinflamatorio. Firewood ash ointment with lard. Branches and trunks < Implements. Arado, juices, pa1as.y handles peaks. Carretas. In particular for th e wheels. Housing construction, beams, doors and windows. Furniture. Leii and co

al. Cooking, heat source fuel for brick kilns, panades and restaurants. Fence po sts. Other: park, making handicrafts, human recreation and wildlife refuge. Source: Developed from Franco Argüelles (199 1 :24-27). Economic plants in arid areas of Mexico and seniiáridas either in the form of flour or fermented beverages. In addition, the heads large ly support the producciú ~ i beekeeping in arid regions. Potential crop In some countries like India, mesquite has become a culture of use inúltiple for arid and semiarid regions. However, Mexico is a notable absence of commercial p lantations of the plant, although there have been several studies about the spre ad of mesquite and so induced crop management. At its infancy, the National Comm ission on Arid Zones (CONAZA) and the National Research Institute for Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock (INIF'AP) established pilot centers have New Leon. Coa huila, Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi, where he conducted ecological studies and establishing nurseries for seedling production of mesquite (Villanueva e / al., 2000). In detail any country sites can still be found dense communities of mesq uite trees, either as pure mezquita1 or associated with other species. In these cases it would be appropriate to engage in a genuine process of planning to ensu re rational and sustainable use of resource, which would assure greater long-ter m economic returns. Based on the experiences of other countries, mesquite produc tion starts from the fourth year and is stabilized after ten years if the enviro nmental conditions and cropping system are favorable. The pod production yields are 15 to 2 0 kg per tree. or 4 000-5 000 kg / ha. After three years, a mesquite tree can produce 7-8 m3de wood. In India, reported 100 to 400 kg of honey per h ectare per year. According to research carried out by Villanueva (Ibid.) in fore st areas Llanos de la Angostura and Pozo del Carmen, San Luis Potosi, gathering mesquite wood reaches 142 m3 per week, a product that is intended primarily to c over domestic use of the peasants. Lla-In Mana Concrpción Cervantes Ramirez Angostura we obtained the 500 to 900 kglhalaño posts, from trees whose diameter exceeds 15 cm, the waste is used as fodder and fuel. It can produce ten tons of rubber, which represents a considerable income for local people as it sustitiito iitiliza as gum arabic. Problems and Prospects The mesquite has been subjected for centuries of irrational exploitation due to an absolute lack of planning abo ut their true potential and appropriate silvicultural techniques to achieve an a dequate management of the resource, which must begin by conducting an inventory to quantify and qualify, to analyze the environmental aspects to determine its s patial organization, both horizontally and vertically to find the equilibrium le vel needed and maintain a sustainable use. It is undeniable that, from an econom ic and ecological perspective, the mesquite is a timber resources of primary imp ortance for farmers in arid and semiarid regions of Mexico, however irrational a nd excessive exploitation that has, has led to accelerated degradation of the co mmunities of mesquite, which has been reflected not only in the loss of resource s-or in itself, but has been exacerbated by the further deterioration of soil an d water affected subteri2neas Iiidrológicas respective watershed; these phenomen a have led to the disruption of the ecological balance of the fragile ecosystems of the areas of mesquite. which in turn has greatly affected the rural communit ies of these sites are ejidatarios, small property owners or community members. It is therefore essential to initiate the implementation of silvicultural techni ques that allow their aprovecliamiento sound and sustainable.