Navigation Links
Natural reforestation in southern Pyrenees favors orchid

A 13-year study has been key to understanding how and why an orchid species (Cypripedium calceolus), which is endangered in some countries in Europe, is surviving and recovering in the Pyrenees. The results suggest that the abandonment of farming and grazing, which is enabling reforestation to take place, is benefiting this orchid.

Populations of species at the edges of their distribution areas, as is the case with the 'lady's slipper' orchid (Cypripedium calceolus) on the southern side of the Pyrenees, have always been considered to be more vulnerable than those at the centre of their range.

This is what led to researchers from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC) publishing the first ever count-based plant demographic model to find out whether populations of this rare Euro-Asian orchid are in a worse situation than those in countries such as Poland or Estonia.

"The populations on the southern edges of the Pyrenees are similar in size, reproduce better, and are as stable or even growing at a faster pace than those in Central Europe", Mara B. Garca, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC), tells SINC.

According to the study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, this "unusual" result seems to be related to reforestation in the areas of the Pyrenees studied. The ending of traditional practices such as farming and grazing could help some endangered forest plants to recover.

"For a plant that is used to colder temperatures (such as in Central and Northern Europe), reforestation in more southerly areas could represent an improvement to its habitat, thereby leading to an increase in the population growth rate", says Garca, who confirmed that the highest such rate found to date is in the Pyrenees.

The research also highlights the fact that landscape changes and the expansion of forests over the past 50 years in mountainous regions are providing "new opportunities" and giving "hope for the recovery of forest species at the edge of their range against a future backdrop dominated by biodiversity loss".

The duration of the study (from 1997 to 2010) was of key importance in arriving at these conclusions. Before now "there have not been any similar studies over such a long time", the researcher explains.

The resurgence of an endangered plant

Cypripedium calceolus is classified as 'endangered' in the whole of Europe and "represents almost 100 forest plants that are at the limits of their range on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees", the researcher points out.

Climate change and global warming are threat factors that could have dramatic implications for orchids, as well as other plant species. "However, at this time of global warming, the increase in forest area along this mountain range could be benefiting this group of species", the biologist says.

In the absence of severe manmade alterations to the environment, the immediate future for these orchid populations in the Pyrenees "seems to be favourable", the study concludes.


Contact: SINC
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Related biology news :

1. Discovery of natural compounds that could slow blood vessel growth
2. Design of a compound that stabilizes the main natural suppressor of tumors
3. International Council for Science launches major research program on natural disasters
4. Natural and social sciences: ICSU embraces the need to work more closely together
5. Ecologists say metabolism accounts for why natural selection favors only some species
6. Natural Capital Project to develop conservation software
7. Honey adds health benefits, is natural preservative and sweetener in salad dressings
8. New research shows how gene function drives natural selection in important class of genetic elements
9. Apolipoprotein(a): A natural regulator of inflammation
10. Grape-seed extract kills laboratory leukemia cells, proving value of natural compounds
11. Particulate emission from natural gas burning home appliances
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Natural reforestation in southern Pyrenees favors orchid
(Date:11/12/2015)... BOSTON , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden ... for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new ... Boston Children,s Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and ... Brazil . Cell, ... some dogs "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... , Nov. 10, 2015  In ... on the basis of product, type, application, ... included in this report are consumables, services, ... report are safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and ... this report are diagnostics development, drug discovery ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... , November 4, 2015 ... new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home Security ... Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home security ... 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated to ... period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs among ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... --> ... 2020 report analyzes that automating biobanking workflow will ... long-term samples, minimizing manual errors, improving the workflow ... errors such as mislabeling or inaccurate sample barcoding ... a vital role in blood fractionation, DNA extraction, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 Studies ... and human plaque and pave the way for more effective ... in cats     --> ... commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was ... Two collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... CITY , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... affirms that its business and prospects remain fundamentally ... , Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation ... to completion following review of the final interim ... Phase 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 The Global Genomics ... professional and in-depth study on the current state ... ) , The report ... definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The ... markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: