Martynas Kazlauskas, Laurynas Taura, Zigmantas Gudžinskas

Current state of critically endangered Neotinea ustulata (Orchidaceae) in Lithuania and report on a new record of the species

Abstract Neotinea ustulata (Orchidaceae) is a rapidly declining species throughout much of its range and is classified as critically endangered in Lithuania. Most of the historical occurrences of the species were concentrated in northwestern Lithuania, while the largest extant population was in the southern part of the country. In July 2022, a new population of Neotinea ustulata was discovered in an urbanised habitat in Šiauliai in northern Lithuania. A total of 84 individuals of this species were recorded in the population. In the southern part of Lithuania (Varėna distr.), the studied population comprised 86 individuals in 2002 and had decreased to 64 individuals by 2022. The total currently known population of the species in the country consists of about 150 individuals and remains critically endangered. The individuals of Neotinea ustulata studied in Šiauliai were significantly lower and had shorter inflorescences than the plants studied in Varėna district in 2002 and 2022. Since the population of Neotinea ustulata in Šiauliai is in an urbanised area, its conservation poses a significant challenge, making it difficult to make long-term predictions on the development of the population. Therefore, it is essential to continue searching for populations of Neotinea ustulata in the country, perform detailed studies on the plants’ reproductive potential, and properly organise the management and protection of extant populations and their habitats.


Keywords conservation, distribution, fluctuation, grasslands, population size, red list, threats, urban habitat

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