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Re: native North American aroids


In a message dated 12/09/1999 8:41:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
rmchatton@photocircuits.com writes:

> Since that time, this species has colonized a fairly substantial 
>  area of northern South America, the Caribbean Islands, most of Florida and 
>  the gulf coastal states where the winter temperatures don't get cold 
enough 
>  to freeze the ground.  There is also a species of Bulbophyllum which has 
>  apparently managed the migration (the only African member of an otherwise 
>  Asian orchid genus).  If orchids can do, its not hard to imagine aroids 
>  managing the same feat.
>  
So the question, then, is how small/lightweight are Pistia seeds?  Orchid 
seeds are like dust, easily carried on the atmosphere.  Are Pistia seeds 
similar?  Alternatively, it may be possible for Pistia to cross the ocean on 
flotsam carried by the Equatorial Current (which runs from Africa to South 
America).  Or, since the cattle egret is known to have crossed the Atlantic 
in recent years, could there have been a bird-assisted dispersal?

Jason Hernandez
Naturalist-at-Large





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