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The Botanical Review

, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 263–274 | Cite as

Conservation of the Native Orchids Through Seedling Culture and Reintroduction—A Singapore Experience

  • Tim W. Yam
  • Jenny Chua
  • Felicia Tay
  • Peter Ang
Article

Abstract

Singapore is located near the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. The whole country consists mostly of lowland. It has many interesting types of natural habitats such as primary rain forest, freshwater swamp forest, mangroves, secondary forests, shrub, grasslands, and urban parks and fields. The climate is equatorial with relatively uniform temperature and high humidity. Unfortunately, many of the natural habitats and the native orchids which thrive there have disappeared due to habitat destruction. Some 226 species of native orchids have been recorded in Singapore. However, of these 178 are considered to be extinct, and only five are common. The orchid conservation programme aims to monitor existing species, explore ways to conserve their germplasm, and increase their numbers in natural, semi-natural, and urban environments through ex-situ seedling culture and subsequent re-introduction into appropriate habitats, including roadside trees, parks and natural areas. In the first phase of the programme, we have successfully propagated and carried out experiments of re-introduction on five species of native orchids, namely, Grammatophyllum speciosum, Bulbophyllum vaginatum, Bulbophyllum membranaceum, Cymbidium finlaysonianum and Cymbidium bicolor. Survival percentages 8-yr after the reintroduction events ranged from 10 to 95 for G. speciosum, the target species of the earliest re-introduction experiments. Size of the seedlings at reintroduction, host trees, and relative humidity seemed to play significant roles in the success rate of the reintroductions.

Keywords

Orchid Conservation Seedling Culture Orchid Seeds Reintroduction Singapore 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I (TWY) thank Drs Hong Liu and Yibo Luo for the invitation to attend this enriching symposium. Dr. Joseph Arditti and Dr. Liu Hong for providing critical reviews on the ms. This research is funded by the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUGE), National Parks Board, Singapore.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim W. Yam
    • 1
  • Jenny Chua
    • 1
  • Felicia Tay
    • 1
  • Peter Ang
    • 1
  1. 1.Singapore Botanic GardensSingaporeSingapore

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