Orchid symbioses: models for evolutionary ecology

Thank you!

Thanks to all of our symposium organisers, speakers and delegates who helped to make the 31st NPS such a great success. We will continue to update this site with related information as it becomes available.


An interactive map showing where all the delegates came from can be found here.

There is also a photo album from the symposium on our Facebook page (no sign-up required).


*The abstract book for the 31st New Phytologist can be downloaded by clicking here*


A cluster of papers highlighting the use of orchids as models to investigate the ecology and evolution of biological interactions was published in Volume 202, Issue 2 of New Phytologist. Click here to see the list of associated papers.


Poster prizes winners

Congratulations to Florent Martos (University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa) who was the winner of the New Phytologist poster prize for his poster 'Evidence for extreme specialization in both above- and belowground symbioses in Gastrodia (Orchidaceae)'.


Florent Martos, poster prize winner


The three equal runner-up poster prizes were awarded to:


Karin Gross (University of Zurich, Switzerland): ‘Floral signal evolution in the rewarding orchid genus Gymnadenia is influenced by pollinators and ploidy level.’


Karin Gross, poster prize runner-up



Ursula Jaros (University of Salzburg, Austria): ‘Reproductive and population genetic consequences of remote island colonization in Bulbophyllum occultum THOUARS (Orchidaceae) from Madagascar and La Réunion’


Ursula Jaros, poster prize runner-up



Rafael Valadares (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil): ‘Differential protein accumulation in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal roots of Oeceoclades maculate


Rafael Valadares, poster prize runner-up


Grants awarded

The following students and early career scientists were awarded New Phytologist Symposium grants:


Hendrik Breitkopf

University of Potsdam, Germany

Elodie Chapurlat

Uppsala University, Sweden

Enrico Ercole

University of Turin, Italy

Karin Gross

University of Zurich, Switzerland

Nina Hobbhahn

University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Adam Karremans

Leiden University / University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Florent Martos

University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Jane Oja

University of Tartu, Estonia

Carlos Eduardo Pereira Nunes

State University of Campinas - Unicamp, Brazil

Fabio Pinheiro

Instituto de Botanica, Brazil

Karen Robbirt

University of East Anglia, UK

Julienne Marie-Isabelle Schiebold

University of Bayreuth, Germany

Tamara Tešitelová

Faculty of Science; University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic

Rafael Valadares

Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil



Symposium Scope

Orchids are outstanding models of biological interactions, due to their strong and diverse links with pollinators and mycorrhizal fungi, which are required for their germination. Biological interactions have strongly shaped the life cycle, reproductive biology and morphology of orchids. In addition, both kinds of interactions range from mutualistic to exploitive in mycoheterotrophic or pollinator-deceiving species. Indeed, the 24000 species of this family have already attracted a large number of research programs.

Many tools have recently been applied to the study of orchid interactions, such as chemical ecology, stable isotopes, high-throughput sequencing and in vitroexperimental designs, and data from tropical ecosystems are now increasingly published. A wide spectrum of conceptual evolutionary frameworks, such as general evolutionary theories on mutualism and plant distribution, as well as robust phylogenies are now available, but still poorly utilised in orchid research.

The key aim of this symposium is to improve the links between theory and field work, and also the integration of studies focusing on pollinators and mycorrhizal fungi, at physiological or ecological levels. In addition to this, we hope that the meeting will promote the exchange of methods and results and make it clear that orchid research can contribute to our general understanding of biological interactions and their evolutionary consequences.



Symposium Format

The symposium took place over three days from 14 – 16 May, 2013 at the University of Calabria, Italy. Nineteen invited talks formed the basis of discussion at what was a relatively small meeting (120 participants). The talks were given on the first two days and on the final day there was be a field trip to a typical orchid habitat in Southern Italy.



Please feel free to download, use, print, and/or distribute the official 31st New Phytologist Symposium promotional material:

31st NPS Flyer (pdf)

31st NPS Poster (pdf)

31st NPS slide (ppt)

For printed versions please contact us.


Orchid symbioses: models for evolutionary ecology logo produced by APPS