Conservation of the endangered terrestrial orchid, Microtis angusii
- Start date:
- 01 Jan 2013
- End date:
- 31 Dec 2016
- Zoe-Joy Newby
- Project sponsors:
- The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
NSW Roads and Maritime Services
- Obtain mycorrhizal fungi capable of germinating seeds of M. angusii
- Identify suitable methods for the storage of seeds and mycorrhizal fungi
- Determine the distribution of the population and genetic diversity
- Assess the rate at which seeds are produced and determine the mode of reproduction
- Attempt seedling translocation
Conservation of endangered plant species may utilize either in situ or ex situ methods. Successful conservation of orchids is particularly challenging as their growth and survival depend on specific fungi (mycorrhizae), and therefore the fungal associates must also be conserved. Mycorrhizal fungi of M. angusii were isolated and used to germinate seeds from a variety of locations. Seeds were germination tested after being placed in different storage conditions (with or without fungi), while separate storage for the fungal associates were also tested. Other investigations include insect involvement in pollination of flowers, quality and quantity of seed production, and distribution and genetic diversity of the M. angusii population.
We have recently transplanted a number of seedlings, germinated and grown at the Australian Botanic Garden, into three locations north of Sydney and are tracking their progress.