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Expansion of native orchid species

Project duration:
Project coordinator:
Dr Wojciech Adamowski (1989-2012)
Project description

Expansive populations of native orchids (Epipactis x schmalhausenii and Platanthera bifolia) were the subject of this research. Contrary to the common belief that all orchids are at risk, these populations increased rapidly, reaching rarely registered high densities. This assumption required tracking their performance for a longer period of time in a constant experimental design. The research was carried out on poplar plantations with a total area of about 48 ha, established in the years 1969-1971. Before poplar planting, the area was drained, the plant cover was destroyed, the soil was ploughed, calcified and fertilized. Poplar hybrids (Populus x canadensis, P. ‘Hybrida 275’) were planted in 5 x 5 m grid. For six years, the soil was not managed and kept as fallow, then Lupinus polyphyllus was sown. The annual counting of orchids was carried out since 1989 during their flowering (first half of July), on a selected fragment of the plantation (3 ha). As the basic research grid, squares determined by poplar trees were used (5 x 5 m = 25 m2). From the beginning of the study, both observed orchid species demonstrated an almost constant increase in their number and density. In the subsequent years of the study, two other orchid species were recorded: Listera ovata and Dactylorhiza majalis. Changes in the location of centers of occurrence were observed regarding P. bifolia, as well as the growth and formation of new centers regarding D. majalis were recorded. Identification of the causes of the observed orchid expansion requires further experimental research.

Publications created as part of a research project

Adamowski W. 2006. Expansion of native orchids in anthropogenous habitats. Polish Botanical Studies 22: 35-44.

Adamowski W. 1999. Spatial relations between secondary populations of Epipactis x schmalhausenii and Platanthera bifolia. Phytocoenosis 11 (N.S.) SUppl. Cartogr. Geobot. 11: 225-230.

Adamowski W. 1998. Colonization success of orchids in disturbed habitats. In: K. Falińska, ed., Plant population biology and vegetation processes, pp. 165-172. Institute of Botany PAS, Kraków.

Adamowski W. 1995. Phenotypic variation of Epipactis helleborine x E. atrorubens hybrids in anthropogenic systems. Acta Soc. Bot. Pol. 64,3: 303-312.

Adamowski W., Conti F. 1991. Masowe występowanie storczyków na plantacjach topolowych pod Czeremchą jako przykład apofityzmu. Phytocoenosis 3 (N.S.). Semin. Geobot. 1: 259-267.