Pollen viability in Mediterranean orchids

Pollen viability in Mediterranean orchids
Pollen viability in Mediterranean orchids

Evaluation of pollen viability has generally been confined to a relatively low number of species. Bellusci et al. study five related Mediterranean orchid genera (Anacamptis, Orchis, Dactylorhiza, Ophrys and Serapias) that are characterized by different types of deceptive pollination and find that pollen viabilities of species groups with different deception types have significant differences, with sexually and shelter-deceptive species exhibiting a shorter life span than food-deceptive species. They propose that this relationship can be attributed to the different types of reproductive barriers, pre- or post-zygotic, that characterise Ophrys and Serapias and the food-deceptive species, respectively.