Tourism and recreation a global threat to orchids
Embargoed until: 2018-12-01
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Orchidaceae is a mega diverse family accounting for 10% of the world’s flowering plants. Due to factors such as small dispersed populations, specific symbiosis with fungi and with pollinators and their desirability for collecting, many orchids are threatened with extinction. Tourism and recreation is increasingly recognised as a global threat for plants, but is it an issue for orchids? When data on orchids from the International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN) Red List was reviewed, we found that 149 (40%) of the 442 orchid species with threat data were at risk from tourism and recreation. This included: 98 (22%) species threatened by residential and commercial development for tourism and recreation, 75 (17%) by intentional collecting within protected areas, and 90 (20%) by human intrusions and disturbance from recreational activities. The three threats often co-occurred and hence can be treated as a threat syndrome. The proportion of species threatened varied among locations with 80% of the 65 species in East Asia, 32% of 68 species in South and Southeast Asia and 94% of 16 orchid species in Europe threatened by tourism and recreation. Terrestrial orchids and those growing in forests were more likely to be at risk from these threats. With so many species at risk, increased awareness and recognition of these threats combined with improved management to reduce impacts is needed. Gaps and inconsistencies in the IUCN Red List must also be addressed to obtain a better understanding of the extent of this, and other threats to plants.
Biodiversity and Conservation
© 2017 Springer. This is an electronic version of an article published in Biodiversity and Conservation Volume 26, Issue 14, pp 3407-3420, 2017. Biodiversity and Conservation is available online at: http://link.springer.com/ with the open URL of your article.
This publication has been entered into Griffith Research Online as an Advanced Online Version.
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified