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Pollination Mechanisms are Driving Orchid Distribution in Space.


ABSTRACT: Understanding the abundance and distribution patterns of species at large spatial scales is one of the goals of biogeography and macroecology, as it helps researchers and authorities in designing conservation measures for endangered species. Orchids, one of the most endangered groups of plants, have a complicated system of pollination mechanisms. Their survival strongly depends on pollination success, which then determines their presence and distribution in space. Here we concentrate on how pollination mechanisms (presence/absence of nectar) are associated with orchid species density and mean niche breadth along an altitudinal gradient in six different phytogeographical regions in the Czech Republic. We found differences between these regions in terms of orchid species numbers and density. The trend (hump-shaped curve) in species density of nectarless and nectariferous orchids were very similar in all phytogeographical regions, peaking between 300-900?m. The trend strongly depends on habitat cover and pollinator availability. In general, the most specialist species of orchids were found from low to middle altitudes. The association of altitude with the richness of orchid flora is much stronger than that with the biogeography. Climate change is a factor that should not be neglected, as it may affect the presence/absence of many species in the future.

SUBMITTER: Stipkova Z 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6972782 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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