Biodiversity and Conservation

, 17:2773 | Cite as

Surprisingly high orchid diversity in travertine and forest areas in the Huanglong valley, China, and implications for conservation

  • Bao-Qiang Huang
  • Xiao-Qin Yang
  • Fei-Hai Yu
  • Yi-Bo Luo
  • Yun-Dong Tai
Original Paper

Abstract

The presence of such a large number of terrestrial orchid species in a small area (ca. 1 km2) of the Huanglong valley in southwestern China is uncommon for this country. Studying the relationship between the distribution patterns of these orchid species and their microenvironments may help us understand this uncommon phenomenon. We established 662 1 m × 1 m plots, measured the cover of each species and found that there were 33 orchid species distributed mainly in two different habitats, i.e. travertine areas and forest. In the travertine areas, 30 orchid species were found; the six most common ones being Cypripedium bardolphianum, Cypripedium flavum, Cypripedium tibeticum, Galearis diantha, Ponerorchis chusua and Phaius delavayi. However in the forested habitat, we found 21 orchid species; the most common ones being Tipularia szechuanica and Goodyera repens. Travertine areas had a higher number of orchid species as well as higher numbers of orchid species per plot as compared to forest. Light availability seems critical to the performance and distribution of orchid species. Stream flow through the travertine area during the orchids growing season appears to be an important factor in shaping and maintaining stable microenvironments favorable to the growth and reproduction of orchids. The results presented in this study suggest that some orchid species in the travertine area might be threatened if the travertine stream flows were to change or be disrupted.

Keywords

Calcareous soil Diversity Light availability Microenvironment Stream flow Terrestrial orchid 

References

  1. Arditti J, Ernst R, Wing YT, Glabe C (1990) The contribution of orchid mycorrhizal fungi to seed germination: a speculative review. Lindleyana 5:249–255Google Scholar
  2. Arntz AM (1999) Variation in photosynthesis and its consequences for fitness. PhD Thesis, University of Illinois, Urbana, IllinoisGoogle Scholar
  3. Bänziger H, Sun HQ, Luo YB (2005) Pollination of a slippery lady slipper orchid in south-west China: Cypripedium guttatum (Orchidaceae). Bot J Linn Soc 148:251–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Batty AL, Dixon KW, Brundrett M, Sivasithamparan K (2001) Constraints to symbiotic germination of terrestrial orchid seed in a mediterranean bushland. New Phytol 152:511–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Behera SK, Misramk MK (2006) Floristic and structure of the herbaceous vegetation of four recovering forest stands in the Eastern Ghats of India. Biodiv Conserv 15:2263–2285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bournérias M (1998) Les orchidées de France, Belgique et Luxembourg. Parthénope Collection: MontpellierGoogle Scholar
  7. Brundrett MC, Scade A, Batty AL, Dixon KW, Sivasithamparam K (2003) Development of in situ and ex situ seed baiting techniques to detect mycorrhizal fungi from terrestrial orchid habitats. Mycol Res 107:1210–1220PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brzeskiewicz M (2000) Conservation assessment for Ram’s Head Lady Slipper (Cypripedium arietinum). Plant Ecologist Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest September 25, 2000. USDA Forest Service, Eastern RegionGoogle Scholar
  9. Calvo RN (1993) Evolutionary demography of orchids: intensity and frequency of pollination and the cost of fruiting. Ecology 74:1033–1042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Catling PM (1996) In situ conservation. In: Hágsater E, Dumont V (Eds) Orchids—status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN: Gland and Cambridge, pp 15–23Google Scholar
  11. Chazdon RL, Fetcher N (1984) Photosynthetic light environments in a lowland tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. J Ecol 72:553–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen SC, Luo YB (2003) Advances in some plant group in China. I. A Retrospect and prospect of orchidology in China. Acta Bot Sin 45(supplement):2–20Google Scholar
  13. Clark DA, Clark DB (1987) Temporal and environmental patterns of reproduction in Zamia skinneri, a tropical rain forest cycad. J Ecol 75:135–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clements MA (1987) Orchid–fungus–host associations of epiphytic orchids. In: Saito K, Tanaka R (Eds) Proceedings of the 12th World Orchid Conference, Tokyo, pp 80–83Google Scholar
  15. Coates F, Lunt ID, Tremblay RL (2006) Effects of disturbance on population dynamics of the threatened orchid Prasophyllum correctum D.L. Jones and implications for grassland management in south-eastern Australia. Biol Conserv 129:59–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crawley MJ (1990) The population dynamics of plants. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 330:25–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cribb PJ, Kell SP, Dixon KW, Barrett RL (2003) Orchid conservation: a global perspective. In: Dixon KW, Kell SP, Barrett RL, Cribb PJ (Eds) Orchid conservation. Natural History Publications, Kotakinabalu, Sabah, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  18. Cunningham SA (1997) The effect of light environment, leaf area, and stored carbohydrates on inflorescence production by a rain forest understory palm. Oecologia 111:36–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Devi U, Behera N (2003) Assessment of plant diversity in response to forest degradation in a tropical dry deciduous forest of Eastern Ghats in India. J Trop Forest Sci 15:147–163Google Scholar
  20. Dressler RL (1993) Phylogeny and classification of the orchid family. Dioscorides Press, PortlandGoogle Scholar
  21. Dupré C, Ehrlén J (2002) Habitat configuration, species traits and plant distributions. J Ecol 90:796–805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Herrera CM (1993) Selection on floral morphology and environmental determinants of fecundity in a hawkmoth pollinated violet. Ecol Monogr 63:251–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huang BQ, Luo YB, Yu FH, Tang SY, Dong L, Tai YD (2007) Interspecific relationships of dominant species in orchid communities of forest vegetation in Huanglong valley, Sichuan, China. J Plant Ecol 31:865–872Google Scholar
  24. Hughes JW, Fahey TJ, Borman FH (1988) Population persistence and reproductive ecology of a forest herb: Aster acuminatus. Am J Bot 75:1057–1064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hull C, Ring SRM (1995) Influence of environmental factors and preliminary demographic analyses of a threatened orchid, Platanthera praeclara. Am Midl Nat 134:307–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Janečková P, Wotavová K, Schödelbauerová I, Jersáková J, Kindlmann P (2006) Relative effects of management and environmental conditions on performance and survival of populations of a terrestrial orchid, Dactylorhiza majalis. Biol Conserv 29:40–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Johnson SD (2000) Batesian mimicry in the non-rewarding orchid Disa pulchra, and its consequences for pollinator behaviour. Biol J Linn Soc 71:119–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jones P (1998) Aspects of the population biology of Liparis loeselii (L.) Rich. var. ovata Ridd. ex Godfery (Orchidaceae) in the dune slacks of South Wales, UK. Biol J Linn Soc 126:123–139Google Scholar
  29. Killingbeck K, Deegan B, Flores R (1998) Rare plant abundance in an endangered species “hot spot”. Northeast Nat 5:283–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kull T (1995) Genet and ramet dynamics of Cypripedium calceolus in different habitats. Abstr Bot 19:95–104Google Scholar
  31. Kull T (1998) Fruit-set and recruitment in populations of Cypripedium calceolus L. in Estonia. Biol J Linn Soc 126:27–38Google Scholar
  32. Kull T (1999) Cypripedium calceolus L. J Ecol 87:913–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Le Brocque AF, Buckney RT (2003) Species richness–environment relationships within coastal sclerophyll and mesophyll vegetation in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, New South Wales, Australia. Aust Ecol 28:404–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Li P, Luo YB, Bernhardt P, Yang XQ, Kou Y (2006) Deceptive pollination of the lady’s slipper Cypripedium tibeticum (Orchidaceae). Plant Syst Evol 262:53–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Li P, Tang SY, Dong L, Luo YB, Kou Y, Yang YQ, Perner H (2005) Species diversity and flowering phenology of Orchidaceae in Huanglong Valley, Sichuan. Biodiv Sci 13:255–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lubbers AE, Christensen NL (1986) Intraseasonal variation in seed production among flowers and plants of Thalictrum thalictroides (Ranunculaceae). Am J Bot 73:190–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Luo YB, Chen SC (1999) Observations of putative pollinators of Hemipilia flabellata Bur. et Franch. (Orchidaceae) in northwest Yunnan Province, China. Bot J Linn Soc 131:45–64Google Scholar
  38. Luo YB, Jia JS, Wang CL (2003) A general conservation status of Chinese orchids. Biodiv Sci 11:70–77Google Scholar
  39. Lytle DA, Poff NL (2004) Adaptation to natural flow regimes. Trends Ecol Evol 19:94–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mabberley DJ (1997) The plant book, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press: CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  41. Maestre FT (2004) On the importance of patch attributes, environmental factors and past human impacts as determinants of perennial plant species richness and diversity in Mediterranean semiarid steppes. Divers Distrib 10:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McKendrick SL (1996) The effects of shade on seedlings of Orchis morio and Dactylorhiza fuchsii in chalk and clay soil. New Phytol 134:343–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mishra BP, Tripathi OP, Tripathi RS, Pandey HN (2004) Effect of anthropogenic disturbance on plant diversity and community structure of a sacred grove in Meghalaya, north India. Biodiv Conserv 13:421–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Niesenbaum RA (1993) Light or pollen seasonal limitations on reproductive success in the understorey shrub Lindera benzoin. J Ecol 81:315–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. O’Connell LM, Johnston MO (1998) Male and female pollination success in a deceptive orchid, a selection study. Ecology 79:1246–1260Google Scholar
  46. Pausas JG, Austin MP (2001) Patterns of plant species richness in relation to different environments: an appraisal. J Veg Sci 12:153–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pellegrino G, Domenico D, Noce ME, Musacchio A (2005) Reproductive biology and pollinator limitation in a deceptive orchid, Serapias vomeracea (Orchidaceae). Plant Species Biol 20:33–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Perkins AJ, Masuhara G, McGee PA (1995) Specificity of the associations between Microtis parviflora (Orchidaceae) and its mycorrhizal fungi. Aust J Bot 43:85–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Perner H, Luo YB (2007) Orchids of Huanglong. Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House, Chengdu, pp 1–15Google Scholar
  50. Primack RB, Miao SL, Becker KR (1994) Costs of reproduction in the pink lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium acaule): defoliation, increased fruit production, and fire. Am J Bot 81:1083–1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ran JH, Liu SY (2002) Scientific expedition of Huanglong Nature Reserve, Sichuan. Sichuan Forestry Press, Chengdu, pp 1–20Google Scholar
  52. Rankin WT, Tramer EJ (2002) Understory succession and the gap regeneration cycle in a Tsuga canadensis forest. Can J Forest Res 32:16–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rasmussen HN, Whigham DF (1998) The underground phase: a special challenge in studies of terrestrial orchid populations. Bot J Linn Soc 126:49–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Schaffers AP (2002) Soil, biomass, and management of seminatural vegetation. Part II. Factors controlling species diversity. Plant Ecol 158:247–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shrestha R, Karmacharya SB, Jha PK (2000) Vegetational analysis of natural and degraded forests in Chitrepani in Siwalik region of Central Nepal. Trop Ecol 41:111–114Google Scholar
  56. Stromberg JC, Lite SJ, Marler R, Paradzick C, Shafroth PB, Shorrock D, White JM, White MS (2007) Altered stream-flow regimes and invasive plant species: the Tamarix case. Global Ecol Biogeogr 16:381–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Stuckey IH (1967) Environmental factors and the growth of native orchids. Am J Bot 54:232–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sun HQ, Luo YB, Alexandersson R, Ge S (2006) Pollination biology of the deceptive orchid Changnienia amoena. Bot J Linn Soc 150:165–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tali K, Foley MJY, Kull T (2004) Biological flora of the British Isles Orchis ustulata L. J Ecol 92:174–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tremblay RL, Ackerman JD, Zimmerman JK, Calvo RN (2005) Variation in sexual reproduction in orchids and its evolutionary consequences: a spasmodic journey to diversification. Biol J Linn Soc 84:1–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tremblay RL, Zimmerman JK, Lebron L, Bayman P, Sastre I, Axelrod F, Alers-García J (1998) Host specificity and low reproductive success in the rare endemic Puerto Rican orchid Lepanthes caritensis. Biol Conserv 85:297–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wheeler BD, Lambley PW, Geeeson J (1998) Liparis loeselii (L.) Rich.in eastern England: constraints on distribution and population development. Bot J Linn Soc 126:141–158Google Scholar
  63. Whigham DF, Willems JH (2003) Demographic studies and life-history strategies of temperate terrestrial orchids as a basis for conservation. In: Dixon KW, Kell SP, Barrett RL, Cribb PJ (Eds) Orchid conservation. Natural History Publications, Kotakinabalu, Sabah, pp 137–158Google Scholar
  64. Willems JH, Bik L (1991) Long-term dynamics in a population of Orchis simia in the Netherlands. In: Wells TCE, Willems JH (Eds) Population ecology of terrestrial orchids. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, pp 33–45Google Scholar
  65. Willems JH, Balounová Z, Kindlmann P (2001) The effect of experimental shading on seed production and plant survival in the threatened species Spiranthes spiralis (Orchidaceae). Lindleyana 16:31–37Google Scholar
  66. Zhang ShB, Hu H, Zhou ZhK, Xu K, Yan N, Li ShY (2005) Photosynthesis in relation to reproductive success of Cypripedium flavum. Ann Bot 96:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bao-Qiang Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiao-Qin Yang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Fei-Hai Yu
    • 4
  • Yi-Bo Luo
    • 1
    • 5
  • Yun-Dong Tai
    • 6
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesXiangshan, BeijingP.R. China
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ScienceNanchang Institute of TechnologyNanchangP.R. China
  3. 3.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China
  4. 4.Research Center of Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China
  5. 5.The National Orchid Conservation CenterShenzhenChina
  6. 6.Huanglong Administration of National Scenic SpotHuanglongP.R. China

Personalised recommendations