Host suitability for germination differs from that of later stages of development in a rare epiphytic orchid


  • Normandie González-Orellana Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, 17 Avenida Universidad Suite 1701, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00925-2537, U.S.A.
  • Aragne Salazar Mendoza Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, 17 Avenida Universidad Suite 1701, San Juan,
  • Raymond L. Tremblay Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, 17 Avenida Universidad Suite 1701, San Juan,
  • James D. Ackerman Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, 17 Avenida Universidad Suite 1701, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00925-2537, U.S.A.



community dynamics, epiphytes, germination, phorophytes, population dynamics, Orchidaceae


We explore phorophyte suitability for germination and establishment of the epiphytic orchid, Psychilis kraenzlinii. We found that the orchid grows on a subset of the available tree species and shows preference for the endemic Machaonia portoricensis (Rubiaceae). The orchid preferred trees with smoother bark with high water holding capacity and low water retention capacity. Microclimatic conditions under which embryos began pre-germination stages mirrored that of the adult orchid, but germination did not, suggesting that suitable germination sites are not necessarily the best sites for later stages of development. 


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How to Cite

González-Orellana, N., Salazar Mendoza, A., Tremblay, R. L., & Ackerman, J. D. (2024). Host suitability for germination differs from that of later stages of development in a rare epiphytic orchid. Lankesteriana: International Journal on Orchidology, 24(1), 93–114.

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