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Re: Hybrids


Dear all,

   After Wilbert's "5-printed-pages" message, I don't have much to add. I
just have some VERY personal opinions:

1. Hybridisation is mostly for fun, aesthetics (I usually hate hybrids, but
people use to like it) and, obviously, for commercial purpouses. If you want
to study plants, look for them in the wild!

2. To keep a good source for hybridisation experiments is a good excuse for
preserve natural "species". Why not use it? When you visit a tropical
country, and see how fast "we" are destroying our natural resources, you
would understand that all potential useful strategy are pretty welcome.

3. Most hybrids are aberrants and wouldn't survive in the wild, because
pollinators, dispersors and other important parts of their life history
wouldn't recognize those weird plants. Whatever, hybrids are usually
delighted very far from the origin of the used species. Anthurium hybrids in
Holland or Florida won't spread around there and "compete" with natural
species. Fortunately, the "hybrids nuts" are usually very far from the
natural "source species"! Nobody wants to make hybrids of Peltandra,
Orontium, Lysichiton, Calla (the true) or Symplocarpus!

4. Reticulation is a term we use to define the crossing of two different
"species" (whatever it means), following by the stabilisation of the genome
(usually by polyploidy). If you try to wonder the species arising (in an
evolutive sense) like branches of a tree, reticulation is when two branches
fuse in only one. That's why it is called "reticulation". The tree would
look like a net of branches. At a first glance, we just can't define if a
quoted species is a product of reticulation or if it evolved like Darwin
showed us. And it is possible that such phenomenon is much more common than
we thought before. But Wilbert was very correct in his comment: We don't
need this information to recognize "species", unless we change our
morpho-anatomical concept for a molecular-statistical approach. I think it
would take some time to occur (not much) and certainly will cause much more
pain!

5. I agree with Bjoern that artificial hybrids are against nature. But, in
my opinion, civilization is against nature! You just can't stop it...

6. If you love natural species, instead of cry against hybrids, try to use
your romantic strength to fight against destruction of natural landscapes.
Remember that the main diversity of aroids are not at the European or
American greenhouses, but in the forests, marshes and savannas here in
Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Central America, Southeastern
Asia and tropical Africa, as well as many other places. They are
dissappearing fast. And it is not a problem of those countries exclusively,
because some things are unique and all mankind will lose them. A good
example is Gearum. The occurrence of Gearum seems to be somewhat restricted
and during the last two years, the whole region is becoming a huge soybean
plantation. Since we don't eat soybean at a regular basis in Brazil, those
plantations are for exportation to the richer countries. See, we can't
preserve it by ourselves, because it depends on other countries. Like
Brazilians say, in these cases the money screams louder! Take a look at the
last Aroideana issue and you will agree that Gearum shouldn't dissapear
forever. No living plant should!

                               Tenham todos uma boa semana,
                                     (Have a nice week)

                                                   Eduardo
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