Flores, A. y Ortiz-Pulido, R. 2005. Epiphyte orchid establishment on termite carton trials. Biotropica 37: 456-460. Preprinted
In the coastal zone of central Veracruz, Mexico, we recorded the abundance of orchid plants growing on termite carton trails or directly on the peeling bark of Bursera fagaroides. Although only 19 percent of the surveyed trees contained termite carton trails, trees with termites hosted 92 percent of all orchid individuals. A disproportionate number of orchid seedlings occurred on termite cartons given the relative availability of carton and bark substrate. Our results show for the first time that orchids can establish on termite trails, and we discuss the potential for termite facilitation of orchid populations.