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Puerto Rico, with its largely tropical oceanic climate dominated by easterly trade winds, has three distinctive physiographic regions: the coastal lowlands, the karst hills, and a complex upland area. Within these are a diversity of vegetation and habitat types in which can be found 145 species of orchids in 65 genera of the family Orchidaceae. This volume provides identication keys, black and white illustrations, and descriptions of the Puerto Rican orchids.Also included are distribution and specific habitat information for each species and information on flowering times and pollination biology.
A serendipitous trip to a surplus plant sale at a university greenhouse led to a small purchase of orchids, a trip to the library, and the subsequent discovery of orchid biology. So began the career trajectory of James D. "Jim" Ackerman. He received a B.A. and M.A. from Humboldt State University in California, and then in 1976 he moved across the continent to enter a Ph.D. program and work with Norris H. Williams at Florida State University. He entered what was then a small world of orchid biologists, which lead to summer internships at Marie Selby Botanical Garden under the guidance of Calaway Dodson, and a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship to work with Robert Dressler (and later David Roubik) at the Smithsonian Tropical ResearchInstitute in Panama to study the evolutionary ecology of the orchid-male euglossine bee interaction. Armed with a Ph.D. in 1981, Jim took a job at the University of Puerto, Río Piedras, and has been there ever since, teaching a spectrum of undergraduate and graduate courses in botany and ecology. He is currently Director of the UPRRP Herbarium and Zoological Museum. Most of his research and that of his students involves orchids in some fashion or other and for years he worked on various aspects of the ecology and evolution of deception pollination and lately in invasive species biology, publishing over 130 scientific articles. But his interests in taxonomy and floristics have never been far away. The result of which has been a few books, not the least of which are "An Orchid Flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (NYBG Memoirs, vol. 73), and the recent "Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles" (NYBG Memoirs, vol. 109). James D. Ackerman's Author Page