Harold Koopowitz

Picture of Harold Koopowitz
Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
School of Biological Sciences
PH.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1968
Phone: (949) 824-8511, 5833
Fax: (949) 824-2181
Email: hkoopowi@uci.edu
University of California, Irvine
475, 446 SH
Mail Code: 2525
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Conservation Biology; Plant Reproductive Biology; Plant Breeding, Ornamental Horticulture
Academic Distinctions
Herbert Medal - International Bulb Society 2003
Research Abstract
My major interests are concerned with current losses in biodiversity around the world. In particular, I am interested in threatened and endangered plant species and communities, especially the petalloid monocotyledonous plants. Within this group I have focused attention on temperate geophytes belonging to the families Iridaceae, Liliaceae, and related groups, as well as tropical epiphytic families such as the Orchidaceae. My research interests are aimed at understanding and predicting rates of plant extinction and devising methods of combating these problems. As an adjunct to this we have become concerned with factors that underly reproductive success or lack thereof in rare plants. As well as the way populations of plants are distributed geographically.

While loss of biodiversity is recognized as a major conservation problem, there is little information on actual extinction rates. One current project involves modeling extinction rates using land conversion rates and plant distributions that will enable one to predict rates of species loss for particular areas and/or groups of plants. Much of this uses data of orchid species distributions as well as other neotropical floras.

Although basically global in perspective, much of my field work has been performed in Africa. For several years I have been studing reproductive costs in a Zimbabwean orchid Aerangis verdickii. Other projects being conducted in my laboratory are concerned with the genetic structure of populations of Epipactis gigantea a North American orchid (with Alan Thornhill); genetic structure of micropopulations of Dudleya multicaulis and endangered geophyte that occurs on the UCI Campus (with Tito Marchant) and the effect of population size on the reproductive success of various Calochortus species (with Mark Elvin). the last mentioned are Mariposa lilies which occur mainly in the western United States.

I have been involved in building a germplasm repository or gene bank at the UCI Arboretum for the cryopreservation of seed and pollen of endangered plant species.
Recent Publications.
Koopowitz, H. and T. A. Marchant (1998) Postpollination nectar reabsorption in the African epiphyte Aerangis verdickii (Orchidaceae). Am. J. Bot. 85: 508-512.

Wrona, F. J. and H. Koopowitz (1998) Behavior of the rhabdocoel flatworm, Mesostoma ehrenbergii in relation to prey capture and feeding. Hydrobiologia. 383: 35-40.
Rogers, T., Bohan G., and H. Koopowitz (1998) An initial assessment of wild populations of Paphiopedilum sanderianum (Rchb. f.) Stein and their reproductive fitness. In: Proceedings of the 15th World Orchid Conference. pp. 415-421.

Koopowitz, H., P. Leonard and T. Marchant (1998) Reproductive ecology of the South Central African epiphyte Aerangis verdickii (De Wild.) Schltr. (Orchidaceae): nectary structure and nectar contents. In: Proceedings of the 15th World Orchid Conference. pp. 349-353.

Marchant, T.A., Alarcon, R., Simonsen, J.A. and H. Koopowitz (1998) Population ecology of Dudleya multicaulis (Crassulaceae); a rare narrow endemic. Madrono, 45: 215-220.

Koopowitz, H. (1999). Paphiopedilum ooii, a remarkable new Paphiopedilum from Borneo. Orchid Digest, 63:

Koopowitz, H. and N. Hasegawa (2000). Paphiopedilum viniferum, a new name for a well-known plant. Orchid Digest, 64: 148-151.

Koopowitz, H. (2000). A revised checklist of the genus Paphiopedilum. Orchid Digest, 64: 155-179.

Koopowitz, H. (2001). Orchids and their Conservation. Batsford Press, London and Timber Press, Portland Or. 176pp.

Koopowitz, H. and T. Marchant (2002) Research needs for management of wild orchids: lessons from Aerangis verdickii. In: Proceedings of the 16th World Orchid Conference. (Clark. J., Elliott, W.M., Tingley, G. and J. Biro, eds.) Pp. 148-151,

Koopowitz, H. (2002). Clivia. Timber Press, Portland Or. 384pp.

Koopowitz, H., Hawkins B. A., van der Hoven H., Donnison-Morgan, D. and Howe, M. (2002) Comparisons between the reproductive fitness of two species of Narcissus L. (Amaryllidaceae) from Southern Spain. Herbertia. 56:67-76.

Koopowitz, H., Griesbach, R., and J. Comstock (2003) Color pigments in Clivia pigments. Clivia 5: 23-31.

Light, M., Koopowitz, H. and T. A. Marchant (2003) The impact of climatic, edaphic and physiographic factors on the population behaviour of selected temperate and tropical orchids. In: Orchid Conservation. (Dixon, K.W., Kell, S.P., Barrett, R.L. and P.J. Cribb, eds.) Pp. 159-182.

Koopowitz, H., Lavarack, P. and K. Dixon (2003) The nature of threat to orchid conservation. In: Orchid Conservation. (Dixon, K.W., Kell, S.P., Barrett, R.L. and P.J. Cribb, eds.) Pp. 25-42.

Koopowitz, H. (2003) The Brachypetalum slipper orchids. In: Proc. European Orchid Conference (Hermans, J. and P. Cribb). Pp. 187-195.

Koopowitz, H. (2004) Slipper orchids and conservation. R.G. Quarterly 62:174-178.

Koopowitz, H. Les orchidées à sabot et leur pollinisation. In: Un amour d’Orchidée: le Marriage de la Fleur et de l’Insecte. A. Roquenant, A. Raynal-Roques and Y. Sell. (in press)
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