Orchids are an endangered plant group, protected in the whole world. Questions of their conservation are therefore highly discussed, but not all factors affecting their survival and distribution are known so far. The purpose of this study was to determine the environmental factors influencing the existence of certain orchid species in their localities in our model area—South Bohemia. Our data were analyzed using the MaxEnt program, which produces species distribution models (SDMs) and allows predicting potential occurrence of orchids in yet unknown localities. This program also determines the environmental factors affecting species presence. This is important for better protection of orchids, because only by knowing these factors, we can find new localities or improve management plans. We studied two orchid species growing in South Bohemia: Dactylorhiza majalis and Platanthera bifolia. The main factors affecting their occurrence were the consolidated layer of ecosystems, habitat heterogeneity, cover of arable land, and vertical heterogeneity. We determined areas, where new sites are most likely to be discovered and show them in the maps of the area. This approach can help in finding new localities of orchids and in understanding, which environmental factors influence the occurrence of these endangered orchid species.
Part of the book: Selected Studies in Biodiversity