Inter-annual variability in flowering of orchids: lessons learned from 8 years of monitoring in a Mediterranean region of France
It is important to evaluate the loss of biodiversity caused by global changes. In the case of orchids, it is still unclear how long the monitoring duration should be chosen in order to achieve a good compromise between the reliability of the orchid dynamics recorded and sampling duration (e.g. years of monitoring). This study aims to propose a method of monitoring orchids. Using a large database, we investigated the inter-annual variability in flowering of orchids in a French Mediterranean region. The database includes an 8-year-long study (2006–2013) of 47 species at 26 locations in three different types of habitats. The number of individual plants that flowered per species varied significantly between years, but not the number of species. Depending on habitat, two to four years were needed to observe the total number of species per location. Therefore, in Mediterranean regions a one-year-study seems to be insufficient to produce reliable results.
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