Sustainable harvesting and conservation of Laelia furfuracea, a rare epiphytic orchid from Oaxaca, Mexico
Orozco-Ibarrola, Octavio Arnulfo; Solano, Rodolfo; Valverde, Teresa (2020), Sustainable harvesting and conservation of Laelia furfuracea, a rare epiphytic orchid from Oaxaca, Mexico, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rn8pk0p71
Many epiphytic orchids are harvested in Mexico for different
purposes. Laelia furfuracea is one of the most intensively traded species.
Its inflorescences are used as ornaments during the December festivities.
We investigated the effect of severing the flowering pseudobulb. This is
the traditional technique frequently used by collectors at the study area.
We wished to investigate its effects on the production of new pseudobulbs,
as well as on their size and flowering probability. Also, we examined the
survival probability and growth of individuals that had fallen on the
ground to evaluate their potential as trading resources. Inflorescence
collection did not affect the production of new pseudobulbs the following
season. However, it affected the size of these pseudobulbs, as well as
their flowering probability. Yet, the direction of this effect was not
consistent between years. Nearly six percent of all L. furfuracea plants at
the study site were found on the ground. Over 80 percent of them survived
for at least two years, although most of them showed pseudobulb loss over
that period of time. We conclude that harvesting of flowering pseudobulbs
may be sustainable in terms of its effects on plant performance, at least
in the short term. The active management of plants that have fallen on the
ground may reduce the harvesting pressure on natural populations.
Harvesting of flowering pseudobulbs may diminish some aspects of plant
performance, but its effects need to be evaluated with complete life cycle
data and take into account interannual variation in vital rates.