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Ecological-phytocenotic peculiarities of shortrhizome orchids of the North-West Caucasus

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The results of long-term studies of ecology-phytocenotic features of short-root orchids in the North- Western Caucasus are summarized. A total of 73 habitats were identified in which 108 cenopopulations of nine species of orchids were described (Chephalanthera longifolia, C. rubra, C. damasonium, C. floribunda, E. helleborine, E. microphylla, Listera ovata, Neottia nidus-avis, Limodormum abortivum). Short-stemmed orchids in the North-Western Caucasus are found in various habitats ranging from dry to moderately moist and wet. Differences in the conditions of the studied habitats associated with altitude above sea level, exposure and steepness of the slopes, species composition of the stand, undergrowth and grass cover are reflected in the number and nature of the age and spatial structure of cenopopulations of short-root orchid species. In the Northwest Caucasus, short-root orchids form a fairly large number of cenopopulations in different habitats, indicating a wide range of their response to environmental conditions that, to varying degrees, ensure development. The number of individuals of the cenopopulations of individual species of short-stemmed orchids varies significantly. The studied cenopopulations of short-root orchid species differ markedly in the ratio of age groups. Most cenopopulations of C.longifolia and E. helleborin are characterized by a left-sided age spectrum with a predominance of individuals of the virgin period (juvenile, immature and adult virginal), in the remaining cenopopulations, generative individuals predominate. For all cenopopulations of C. damasonium, the prevalence of the number of generative individuals over the virginia is characteristic. Many cenopopulations of C. rubra and L. ovata are distinguished by the dominance of generative individuals in the composition of the age spectrum. The exception is chlorophyll short-chained orchids (N. nidus-avis and L. abortivum), cenopopulations of which are represented only by generative shoots.