Telipogon helleri (Orchidaceae): population characteristics, new locality in Mexico and risk of extinction
AbstractThe first record of Telipogon helleri (Orchidaceae) in Mexico was in 2009. The relevance of this study is the finding and characterization of a second population of this taxon, in a new location, and the revaluation of the original population five years later of its discovery. In addition, we evaluated the new population by the Method of Evaluation of Risk of Extinction for plants in Mexico (MER-Plantas). We evaluated this species using the Risk Assessment Method of Extinction for plants in Mexico (MER- Plantas). The original population increased 1.7 % (15.38 % immatures; 84.62 % adults; n = 78 individuals), and was distributed among six phorophytes (four more than in 2009), with 73.08% of the individuals growing on twigs and with a similar number of individuals facing the different cardinal points. The new population was found in a cloud forest fragment, growing on a single phorophyte (Brunellia mexicana), consisting of 36 individuals (38.89 % immatures; 6.11 % adults), all of which were growing on the trunk and 69.44 % facing west. We suggest that T. helleri should be placed in the category of endangered (P), in the Mexican Oficial Standard for threatened ora and fauna. It is necessary to carry out demographic and molecular studies to evaluate the levels of endogamy and the genetic viability of the individuals present and to estimate the capacity for adaptation and population growth. The increase in the number of individuals in the last five years could be rapidly reversed given the adverse conditions prevailing in the habitats and localities where the two populations are found.
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