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Re: Subspecies vs. species?

In a message dated 1/15/99 2:16:29 PM Pacific Standard Time, greg@ezi-
learn.com.au writes:

> Thanks to Alistair for having a go but I was interested in the difference
>  between subspecies and variety.  We have a number of times where authors
>  change a variety to a subspecies only to have later authors ignore this and
>  revert them to varieties.  Couldn't one of these terms be reasonably made
>  redundant?

Not entirely.  Hitchcock and Cronquist, who wrote the "Bible" of Pacific
Northwest flora, use both terms, subspecies and variety.  Generally, they use
"subspecies" for variants which occur in discrete populations (e.g.,
geographic races), and "variety" for variants which occur periodically within
populations (e.g., pink-flowered plants of an otherwise blue-flowered
species).  However, this brings up another question--what is the difference
between "variety" and "forma"?

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