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Published in Scientific Papers. Series B, Horticulture, Vol. LXIV, Issue 2
Written by Nora Eugenia D. G. ANGHELESCU, Alina E. ROVINA, Mihaela I. GEORGESCU, Sorina A. PETRA, Florin TOMA

This is the first confirmed occurrence in Romania of a significant (notho)population of seven hybrids, Anacamptis × timbali nothosubspecies reinhardii (Ugr. ex E.G. Camus) H. Kretzschmar, Eccarius & H. Dietr., 2007, hybrids between two highly divergent species, Anacamptis coriophora (from Anacamptis coriophora group) and Anacamptis palustris subsp. elegans (from Anacamptis palustris group). The seven hybrids, very likely F1 generation plants representing a single interspecific/intrageneric pollination event, were first studied at Grădiştea Muncelului-Cioclovina Natural Park, Hunedoara County, Romania. The hybrids were phenotypically intermediate between their parental species in most of the 25 morphometric and 41 morphological characters scored, but significantly, they closely resembled Anacamptis palustris subsp. elegans parent. Additionally, pollination studies were performed. Since the parental species occurred in near proximity (at less than 1 meter distance), we suggest that the production of this hybrid required a minimum travel distance of ca 1-10 meters, by the pollinators and frequent exchange of pollen between the parental species was very likely. The parental species A. coriophora and the hybrid, which display a considerable synchronicity in their flowering time, were proved to overlap in pollinator community, very successfully sharing the solitary bees belonging to genus Lasioglossum. The presence of fruits in almost all the hybrids is another proof that they were successfully crosspollinated. It is clear that even contrasting pollination syndromes such as generalized food deception (in the nectarless Anacamptis palustris subsp. elegans) and generalised food foraging behaviour (in the nectar-producing Anacamptis coriophora) mechanisms are insufficient to fully stop the gene flow between the two species. We set this hybrid population discovery in the context of the recent, expanding evidence of the occurrence of wild species of orchids in Grădiştea Muncelului-Cioclovina Natural Park.

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