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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Theiss, Kathryn [1], Holsinger, Kent E. [2].

Threats to persistence of a rare endemic orchid in Madagascar.

Plant and animal species face many threats to survival including land use changes, disruption of mutualisms, and climate change. Here we describe how these threats are likely to affect persistence of a rare Malagasy orchid, Erasanthe henrici, which grows in highly fragmented forest patches throughout central Madagascar. We began demographic analysis of six populations in 2007 in forests with varying levels of governmental protection. Our demographic analysis uses a stage-based classification consisting of three visible life-history stages (juvenile, vegetative and reproductive -- based on a combination of reproductive status, leaf number, size, and total leaf area). Our data from 2007-2010 show that reproduction is infrequent in southern populations, but relatively common in northern populations although neither region has high seedling recruitment. Legal protection of forest reserves reduces not only the rate of forest destruction but also the frequency with which plants are collected for the horticultural market. Long-term persistence of Erasanthe henrici will require effective protection of its habitat in the northern part of its range, but populations in the south may be doomed to extinction unless an effective pollinator can be introduced.

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1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-3043, United States of America
2 - University of Connecticut, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Road, U-3043, Storrs, Connecticut, 062693043, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 47
Location: 551A/Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 47004
Abstract ID:485

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