J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi, PhD, Research Officer in Plant Breeding Division at Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka (Talawakelle, Sri Lanka); e-mail:
R. Samantha Gunasekara, Lanka Nature Conservationists (209/3 Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Dehiwela, Sri Lanka).

Reference to article

Kottawa-Arachchi J.D., Gunasekara R.S. 2020. Research priorities and future directions in conservation of wild orchids in Sri Lanka: a review. Nature Conservation Research 5(Suppl.1): 34–45.

Section Review articles

Together with Western Ghats, Sri Lanka is a biodiversity hotspot amongst the 35 regions known worldwide. Considering the Sri Lankan orchids, 70.6% of the orchid species, including 84% of the endemics, are categorised as threatened. The distribution of the family Orchidaceae is mostly correlated with the distribution pattern of the main bioclimatic zones which is governed by the amount and intensity of rainfall and altitude. Habitat deterioration and degradation, clearing of vegetation, intentional forest fires and spread of invasive alien species are significant threats to native species. Illegally collection and exporting of indigenous species has been another alarming issue in the past decades. Protection of native species, increased public awareness, enforcement of legislation and introduction of new propagation techniques would certainly bring a beneficial effect to the native orchid flora. Conduct awareness programs, strengthen existing laws, and reviewing the legal framework related to the native orchid flora could be vital for future conservation. Apart from the identification of new species and their distribution, future research on understanding soil chemical and physical parameters of terrestrial habitats, plant association of terrestrial orchids, phenology patterns and interactions of pollinators, associations with mycorrhiza, effect of invasive alien species and impact of climate change species are highlighted.


awareness, biodiversity conservation, climate change, illegal exploitation, threatened species

Artice information

Received: 24.03.2020. Revised: 22.05.2020. Accepted: 29.05.2020.

The full text of the article

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