Comparative Reproductive Biology of a Rare Endemic Orchid and its Sympatric Congeners in Southwestern China Thesis

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Lin, Wuying

abstract

  • Comparative studies on endangered species and their more common congeners can shed light on the mechanism of species rarity, and enable conservationists to formulate effective management strategies. I compared the breeding and pollination systems of the endangered Geodorum eulophioides and its two more common sympatric congeners in subtropical China. Geodorum eulophioides and G. recurvum were self-compatible, both depending on Ceratina cognata for fruit production, while G. densiflorum can autonomously self. Although the floral visitation frequency of G. eulophioides was the highest among the three, its natural fruit set was similar to that of G. recurvum, but both lower than that of G. densiflorum. These results partially explain the difference in species abundance. Coupled with severe habitat loss and degradation, the extremely low pollinator visitation and natural fruit set of G. eulophioides calls for rapid establishment of ex-situ collection, in conjunction with improving in-situ habitat. Natural hybridization tendencies were also studied among species.

publication date

  • March 22, 2012

keywords

  • Ceratina cognata
  • Geodorum densiflorum
  • Geodorum eulophioides
  • Geodorum recurvum
  • breeding system
  • ground orchid
  • natural hybridization
  • plant conservation
  • pollination
  • species rarity
  • sympatric species

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)