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Nearly all native plants form beneficial associations with fungi in the wild, allowing them to access nutrients and tolerate stressful conditions. Some plants associate with a lot of different fungi and can find the ones they need in most locations. Orchids, however, need particular species of fungi that are not always available, which complicates efforts to restore and conserve more than 200 species of endangered native orchids in the US and Canada. It can take decades to learn what orchids require to grow, but newly developed tools, including DNA analysis, are helping to identify the specific mycorrhizal fungi that orchids need and how they support orchid establishment and growth. Melissa presents recent findings that are being applied to orchid conservation and cultivation throughout North America.
This event is part of the Mt. Cuba Center Lecture Series.
Snow date for this class is Saturday, March 23, 2019.