Systematics and Evolution (HA)
Project Leader: M. Clements
The Centres orchid research group studies the biodiversity of the Australian Orchidaceae in relation to those of related floras and to carry out systematic and biological studies of these plants to elucidate their phylogenies. This involves studies in: phylogeny, molecular and reproductive biology of the family and specific taxonomic groups there in , e.g. Diurideae, Pterostylideae and Dendrobinae; the systematics of the Orchidaceae in countries in the SW Pacific and Melanesia in relation to Australia; orchid mycorrhizal associations; in vitro propagation of orchids including endangered species. The project also involves compilation of photographic indices of Australian Orchidaceae and of Orchidaceae types.
The Orchidaceae is a major component of the world flora (c. 35,000 species), and a significant number (c. 1200-1400) of these occur in Australia and many more (c. 8-10,000) in the surrounding region (New Zealand, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and other SW Pacific Island nations, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines). A primary aim of our orchid research is the enunciation of the orchids in Australia. The south-east Asian-Australasian and Western Pacific regions is one of the richest areas for orchids on earth containing representatives of most major orchid groups including all the so-called primitive species. As such it is an extremely important area in which to undertake research on the Orchidaceae, especially in relation to its phylogeny and classification and systematics. Numerous species of orchids remain to be discovered and described from this region.
See also -
More information about the project
Australian Orchid Genera - computer information and identification system on DVD.
Australian Orchid Name Index AONI (PDF 1,674 KB) (16/2/2007)
Australian Orchidaceae (PDF 216 KB) (31/1/2007)
Current Genera and Species Checklist