Life-cycle and natural history of the endangered terrestrial orchid Genoplesium baueri in eastern New South Wales

  • Many aspects of the biology of Genoplesium baueri R.Br. (Orchidaceae) an endangered terrestrial orchid endemic to New South Wales, Australia, remain unknown. In this study observations were made on (1) plant morphology; (2) the biology of the fruit and seeds; (3) the biology of the plant tuber and the spatial patterning of emergent plants ; (4) the morphology of the pollen and the identity of pollen vectors and (5) to develop a preliminary description of the lifecycle of the orchid, by carrying out annual surveys of two key Genoplesium baueri populations in northern Sydney, for a 12-year period and collecting data on fruits, tubers and pollinators opportunistically. Individual plants cannot be tracked from year to year. We observed that each emergent plant produces a tubular leaf and an inflorescence of 1-15 non-resupinate flowers. Fruit capsules contained numerous tiny seeds, which were slightly larger than seeds of a closely related species, Corunastylis filiformis. The papillose surface of mature tubers of Genoplesium baueri differed greatly from the smooth, spherical tubers of Corunastylis fimbriata and is likely to be the site of orchid mycorrhizae. The occurrence of clumps of closely-packed, variously-sized tubers, each subtending single Genoplesium baueri plants, warrants investigation as development by vegetative increase at the tuber level provides one of several possible explanations. The morphology of the pollinarium and evidence of Chloropid fly-mediated pollination was observed. Our better understanding of the natural history and biology of Genoplesium baueri will contribute to orchid systematics and help inform management decisions regarding this species to ensure its persistence into the future.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Wendy A. Grimm, Peter H. Weston, Anthony Manea, Michelle R. Leishman
ISSN:0727- 9620
ISSN:2200 - 405X
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2020
Year of first Publication:2020
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/02/24
Tag:Prasophyllinae; myophily; orchid fruit; orchid seed; orchid tubers; pollen vector
Page Number:7
First Page:265
Last Page:271
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 20 (2020)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht