The Bee And The Orchid

The affect of climate change can be felt globally. The link between climate change and its affect on biodiversity has long been established. However, rapid climate change mostly affects the ability of the existing species to adapt as fast and hence there is a constant threat to the biodiversity.

One of the most affected areas due to climate change is the natural flora. This definitely puts the humans at risk as it has a direct impact on the food chain. A recent study conducted by the University of Sussex has found definitive demonstration of how climate change is affecting the vital interdependent relationship between different species. The study conducted on the spider orchid and the bee’s shows how much has changed since the mid 17th century. Come spring the spider orchid spikes and flowers which emit a scent that imitates that of a female Buffish Mining Bee. The male bees are the first to take flight and the scent of the orchid fools the male bee into attempting to mate (pseudo copulation) with the spider orchid. In the process the male bee gets covered in pollen and this pollen gets carried over to other orchids thus helping pollination. However, with the rising temperatures the flight of the male and female bees and the flowering of the orchid are happening all at the same time. So instead of pseudo copulation with the orchids the bees are copulating with the female bees and as such the orchids are not getting pollinated. If this pattern continues it won’t be long before the spider orchids actually disappear.


By: Madhuchanda Saxena



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