The Pollination Ecology of Orchis Spectabilis L. (Orchidaceae)
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science. v82, n5 (December, 1982), 218-225
Three woodland sites were selected for collecting data on the frequency of pollination of Orchis spectabilis by bumblebees in northeast Ohio. A total of 82 hours was spent at 2 of these sites, which were chosen for observing the foraging o£ Bombus queens on spring ephemerals. The effect of Aesculus glabra, Dicentra canadensis, Geranium maculatum, Iris pseudacorus, and Pedicularis canadensis in attracting bumblebees in relation to 0. spectabilis pollination was also studied. Of the 123 bumblebees captured, 74% foraged on flowers and 26% hunted for nesting sites. Caging experiments on 0. spectabilis indicated 4% self-compatibility and 100% outcrossing fertility and suggested a required animal pollen vector. In the two populations studied, 17-21% of the plants flowered while fruit production ranged 0—11%. Seed production measured by two methods averaged 3485 seeds/fruit and 6656 seeds/fruit, respectively. Both methods indicated more than adequate seed set to replace the existing populations even if only one fruit/season was produced. 0. spectabilis is a woodland plant species relying on chance visits by either woodlandor meadow-dwelling Bombus queens for pollination. The limited occurrence of this plant species in northeast Ohio has not been attributed to the low pollinator frequency it receives.
Author Institution: Department of Biology, University of Akron
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