May 4th 2020, David Haelterman, Topic: Orchids of Colombia in their native habitats
May 4 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Orchids of Colombia in their native habitats: a huge richness to conserve in an incredibly bio diverse country
Colombia is already recognized as the richest orchid country on earth with more than 4300 species although it is largely unexplored, just before Ecuador which in turn has extensively been studied for the last 40 years. What explains this incredible richness is its complex topography with 3 main cordilleras running from north to south in the Andean region and other secondary mountain ranges that in some places interconnect with these cordilleras. Colombia is also the only south american country with access to both pacific as well as Atlantic oceans and, more than 40 % of its territory lies in the lowland amazonian rain forest shared with its neighbors. These geographical particularities help create many micro climates offering hundreds of ecological niches for our beloved plant family.
In Colombia, one can virtually find orchids everywhere from sea level to 3700 m asl for epiphytes such as some Cyrtochilum, and even to 4200 m asl for terrestrials such as Altensteinia species. During this talk we will discover some of the more representative and astounding ones as well as understand why it is so important to conserve their native habitats!