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Re: [aroid-l] How does A. titanum do it?

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] How does A. titanum do it?
  • From: "Randy Story" story@caltech.edu
  • Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 22:52:27 -0700


I assume you've never been around a durian fruit.  People who live in the
same part of the world as A. titanum consider durian to be a delicacy and
somehow put up with that ungodly stench.  There are many, many more durians
than there are A. titanums!

Around here people associate Spaths with funerals.


>From: "Ron Iles" <roniles@eircom.net>
>To: <aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu>
>Subject: Re: [aroid-l] How does A. titanum do it?
>Date: Wed, Sep 11, 2002, 9:12 PM

> Is it precarious?   Considerr how many hundreds of miles each molecule of
> stink can spread.  How far off can the pollinating stink flies smell the
> molecule stink.   Male moths can detect a molecule or so of female phemerone
> miles away, so flies maybe could detect these phalloid stinks hundreds of
> miles away?   So maybe having very sparse Amorphos is not precarious but
> considerate to humans?  If there was an Amorpho every ten feet, the 'umans
> would be breathing flies & most smelling life would get very aggressive &
> kill off the too many orrible smelling monstrosities.
> Spathiphyllum do it right, they smell nice & are welcome everywhere & don't
> encorage nasty flies.
> Do you reckon that Amorpho & other stinkies are human health hazards with
> all those nasty organic chemicals?  You really think I'm joking, at least a
> few of us are cutting down on the densities of these things around us.
> Signed on behalf of the Irish Pet Spath Company & Amorpho Abolition Society
> .
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Randy Story" <story@caltech.edu>
> To: "AROID-L" <aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 11:32 PM
> Subject: [aroid-l] How does A. titanum do it?
> Hi,
> The current discussion on Amorphophallus titanum reminded me of a question I
> have.  This arose during a conversation with a friend while visiting the
> Huntington's blooming A. titanum a few weeks ago and the situation would of
> course apply to a lot of other species as well.
> If during  blooming the female flowers are only receptive for about a day,
> then there must of course be another flower making pollen that is only a day
> or two ahead for there to be successful pollination.  My impression was that
> A. titanum isn't terribly abundant, plus it blooms only every three years at
> best, etc.  So what are the chances that another plant blooms sufficiently
> nearby (a couple miles?) at exactly the right time (again within a day or
> two) so that a given plant is successfully pollinated?  A related question
> is what sort of population density is necessary to keep all of this going?
> I assume that this must be a serious concern of botanists/ecologists and
> others trying to keep these plants from going extinct.  I'm curious for a
> sense as to what the magnitude of the problem is.  Is the situation so
> precarious for some species that even fairly minor decreases in population
> density and or area of distribution can lead to extinction?  If so, how many
> Amorphophallus species have already been lost?
> The conclusion of the conversation with my friend was that it seemed rather
> odd that a species (or many) had evolved into such a precarious corner!
> Randy

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