Ecological Interactions of the Sexually Deceptive Orchid Orchis Galilaea

Machaka-Houri, N., Houri, A., Knio, K.M. and Westbury, Duncan B (2018) Ecological Interactions of the Sexually Deceptive Orchid Orchis Galilaea. Journal of Plant Interactions, 13 (1). pp. 315-320.

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Plant species dependent on highly specific interactions with pollinators are vulnerable to environmental change. Conservation strategies therefore require a detailed understanding of pollination ecology. This two-year study examined the interactions between the sexually deceptive orchid, Orchis galilaea, and its pollinator Lasioglossum marginatum. Relationships were investigated across three different habitats known to support O. galilaea (garrigue, oak woodland, and mixed oak/pine woodland) in Lebanon. Visitation rates to flowers were extremely low and restricted to male bees. The reproductive success of O. galilaea under ambient conditions was 29.3% (±2.4), compared to 89.0% (±2.1) in plants receiving cross-pollination by hand. No difference in reproductive success was found between habitat types, but values of reproductive success were positively correlated to the abundance of male bees. Pollination limitation can have negative impacts on the population growth of orchids, and this study provides clear evidence for more holistic approaches to habitat conservation to support specific interactions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The full-text of the online published article can be accessed via the Official URL.
Keywords: pollen limitation, sexual deception, endemic species, reproductive success, Lasioglossum marginatum
Divisions: Land and Property Management
Depositing User: Professor Duncan Westbury
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2024 13:26
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2024 13:26

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