Limiting factors and impacts of climate change for endangered Australian orchids

This project is assessing the role of multiple factors limiting endangered orchids.

Our multidisciplinary team is developing and applying novel and innovative approaches for the assessment of key limiting factors for Australian orchids: pollinator abundance and mycorrhizal fungal availability. Underpinned by survey distribution data for all three elements, we will apply environmental and surface climate models to predict potential distributions of the interacting species in order to guide in situ and ex situ conservation strategies. We will also explore the implications of our predictions under a range of climate change scenarios. The methods developed will be applicable to endangered plants, and their interactions, more generally.

The project is funded by an ARC Linkage grant (2009-2012).


This project represents a partnership between ANU in Canberra, the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (BGPA) and the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth. The multidisciplinary team combines expertise spanning the fields of ecology, population genetics, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, natural product chemistry and climate change.