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Liu H.,Florida International University | Liu H.,Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Liu H.,Guangxi University | Feng C.-L.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | And 8 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Assisted colonization of endangered species to locations outside their native ranges in response to projected climate change has emerged as a potential, but highly controversial conservation tool. The debate has been largely philosophical and hypothetical as little biological data exist in the literature. In 2006, nearly 1000 endangered wild orchid plants belonging to 29 species were translocated to higher elevations in subtropical southwestern China in response to inundation threats from a hydropower project. We took advantage of this upward translocation to address one of the main biological concerns associated with assisted colonization, i.e. whether the target endangered species can survive in the novel environment that is projected to be suitable for them, sometime in the future. We assessed the impacts of two extreme weather events, translocation shock and herbivory, on survival of 20 of these species and 462 individuals that were translocated beyond their current range vs. within that range. A cold spell in 2008 on average caused 10% mortality, less than the mortality rate from herbivores. However, the cold spell was the only force that extirpated an out-of-range population. No mortality resulted from a drought event in 2010. The 5-year survival percentages were not different between low and wide elevation species (69.3% mean ± 36.3% standard deviation vs 67.3% ± 30.9%). Orchids represent 10% of flowering plant diversity and are among the most endangered group of organisms due to a combination of their often specialized ecological requirements, habitat destruction, and overexploitation. The demonstrated ability to survive extreme environmental challenges indicates that assisted colonization may be a viable conservation tool for the many endangered orchids worldwide due to climate change and/or other reasons. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Ying T.,Nanjing University | Geng Q.-F.,Nanjing University | Wang D.-B.,Nanjing University | Liu H.,Florida International University | And 5 more authors.
Conservation Genetics Resources | Year: 2014

Geodorum (Orchidaceae) has approximately ten species, and is mainly distributed in tropical Asia. Among them, Geodorum eulophioides Schltr. is of major conservation concern as it has only four known populations, two each found in China and others in Burma. In this study, we developed 18 polymorphic microsatellites markers in G. eulophioides with the number of alleles ranging from two to 17. The expected and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.046 to 0.918 and from 0.048 to 1.0000, respectively. The cross-species amplification rates for the sympatric G. recurvum (Roxb.) Alston and G. densiflorum (Lam.) Schltr. were 100 and 83.33 %, respectively. These markers developed would be useful for conservation and population genetic studies. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

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