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Yang, Mei [1], Pradhan, Namrata [2], Wang, Xiaoyin [3], Chau, Marian [4], Geekiyanage, Nalaka [5], Manage Goodale, Uromi [6].

Functional Determinants of Species Rarity: Ecophysiology of Rare and Common Orchid Species in a Subtropical Karst Forest in Southwest China.

Due to increased human activities, species in the wild are facing unprecedented threats in their natural habitats, leading to the arrival of the sixth mass extinction on our planet. Rare species are at greater risk of extinction in this context because they are susceptible to environmental fluctuations and demographic stochasticity. Therefore, the conservation of rare species is crucial to the conservation of biodiversity. One of the species groups that is most affected by this situation are orchids, which belong to the family Orchidaceae. Many orchids are rare in the wild due to their biological characteristics and habitat specificity. Studies that investigate the causes of orchid rarity focus mainly on the reproductive system, genetic structure, biotic interactions, abiotic conditions under which species grow and species response to environmental stress. However, despite a treasure trove of information on orchid rarity, general patterns on rarity are still not emerging. Besides, only a small portion of species, mainly terrestrial orchids, in the family of Orchidaceae have been studied. There are assumptions that the abundance of plants may related to physiological characteristics. However, although considerable progress has been made in the physiology of orchids, the comparative physiology of rare and common orchids is rare. To date, only a few studies have considered the population abundance and distribution range size in the studies of physiological responses. However, even these few studies do not explicitly expound the relationship between physiological characteristics and species abundance in their conclusions. The relationship between physiological characteristics and orchid distribution is unclear. Therefore, we conducted field and laboratory experiments to explore whether the rare and/or threaten conditions of some orchid species are due to their special ecophysiological characters. Starting with the growing season in 2020, we measured photosynthetic characters in the field of 32 wild orchid species in Yachang Orchid National Nature Reserve in southwest China, and conducted experiments of leaf morphology and anatomy characters, biochemical characters, leaf economic traits and stress tolerance capacity of these orchid species in the State Key Laboratory of Conservation and Utilization of Agrobiological and Resources in Subtropical Region and Regeneration Ecology, Seed Biophysiology and Conservation Laboratory in Guangxi University. All experiments were conducted on at least 5 new mature leaves in the current year of 3 random individuals. The results will improve our understanding of the factors that contribute to orchid rarity and hence provide information for better conservation and management of these valuable species.

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1 - Guangxi University, College Of Forestry, No.100 Daxuedong Road, Nanning, 45, 530004, China
2 - Guangxi University, Plant Ecophysiology And Evolution Group, State Key Laboratory Of Conservation And Utilization Of Subtropical Agro-bioresources ,College Of Forestry, Daxuedonglu 100, Nanning , 45, 530005, China
3 - Guangxi University, Forestry College, 100 Daxuedonglu, Nanning, 45, 530004, China
4 - Lyon Arboretum, University Of Hawai'i At Manoa, Hawaiian Rare Plant Program, 3860 Manoa Road, Honolulu, HI, 96822, United States
5 - Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture,, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka
6 - Guangxi University, Plant Ecophysiology And Evolution Group, State Key Laboratory Of Conservation And Utilization Of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, College Of Forestry,, Daxuedonglu 100, Nanning, 530005, China


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECOPH2, Ecophysiology II
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 11:00 AM(EDT)
Number: ECOPH2005
Abstract ID:328
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize

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