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Re: secondary hemiepiphytes

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: secondary hemiepiphytes
  • From: alan san juan <kalim@erols.com>
  • Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 23:26:23 -0500 (CDT)

ok, cool. Thanks to those who gave answers.

I note though that most explanations focus on why a plant would want to
get to the canopy area, as opposed to why it would elect to GET RID of
the underlying stem. One writer, who wrote by email, noted that this may
be simply the result of cumulative damage to the lower (and older)
regions of the plant. Although this may be possible, my understanding is
that the degradation is too drastic to be simply due to random
accidental events, and it of course does not address why this would
occur in several diffrent groupings of plants while not in most others.
Indeed, I once observed a large PHilodendron in a greenhouse which clung
only 1.5 meters or so above the ground...its old pot lay forlornly below

Another notes that adventitious roots could make up for the loss of a
stable water supply, but then notes that conditions even in rainforst
areas up in the canopy is relatively different from one time to another
and from even one tree area to another. Many plants (I think) do not
dispense with their ground roots, while these MOnsteras and
PHilodendrons do....

What characteristics do these plants and similar others have that differ
from other vinelike plants that start at ground level but never
relinquish their hold on earth? Is this a competitive advantage that
allows these plants to compete equally against others in similar niche
(well, you may have a stable water supply, but you gotta spend energy
maintaining it, whereas ther is a chance I may end up in an inhospitable
spot, but in the meantime, I can recycle old tissue matter into growing
at the tips, and growing faster than you)...

anyways, thanks for the answers.
alan in New Jersey, USA

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