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[AZ] Re: Check your arborescens for hairs on the leaves

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  • sjperk5
    Mike I believe the species definition used for Rhododendron states something to the effect 2 Rhododendron populations are different species if they differ in 2
    Message 1 of 36 , Aug 7, 2008
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      Mike

      I believe the species definition used for Rhododendron states
      something to the effect 2 Rhododendron populations are different
      species if they differ in 2 or more important characteristics.

      Now this assumes that a third population does not exist that is an
      intermediate between the 2 and this third population is not
      considered to be a hybrid of the first 2 populations.

      R. minus was combined because as more populations were discovered
      the differences between the populations were not consistent
      differences. Moreover, populations that might be considered
      subspecies were found to appear at least in small numbers in other
      populations. R. minus when planted in one location has a very wide
      range of bloom time. In Salem, NH the bloom time is separated by
      more than 6 weeks between the early and late blooming R. minus.

      This means that you cannot know if 2 similar (differing in only 2
      characteristics) populations are separate species until you locate
      all populations of Rhododendrons. You also have to decide when is a
      population a hybrid population rather than a species population. You
      also have to agree on what is an important characteristic.

      Things such as hairs versus glands, flowering before or after leaves
      expand, length of certain plant parts, time of bloom, etc are
      considered important and sometimes not.

      I knew a botanist who was trained to consider all populations that
      were disjoint to be separate species. Moreover all "natural hybrids"
      were considered to be part of the population. In other words the
      azaleas on Gregory are a population and thus a separate species. To
      him the important question was are the populations disjoint. In
      others words do the populations exchange DNA. If they do they are
      the same population (species) and if they do not they are different
      populations (species) period.

      I never agreed with this definition of species but at least I
      understood it. To determine species you tested for disjointness.
      If 2 popualtions could not mechanically exchange DNA then they were
      cleary disjoint. If 2 populations never shared the same pollinators
      then they were disjoint. If 2 populations never bloomed at the same
      time then they were disjoint. If 2 populations were isolated from
      one another then they were disjoint. etc.

      Now this botanist did time analysis and considered populations to
      not be disjoint if you could show that over time they did share DNA
      and over time would again. He worked in time periods of 1000s of
      years. To him populations were fluid in terms of both its members
      and its location.

      On the other hand, I have to admit I simply do not understand the
      usefulness of the current species definition used with Rhododendrons.
      Any definition which requires you to know everything before you can
      know anything seems pretty unworkable to me. Moreover even after you
      know all the facts then you have to agree on which ones are
      important when. Now throw in the fact that the system as defined is
      not closed in the sense of species versus hybrid, when is something
      one and not the other, and that species can produce hybrids and
      hybrids can become species.

      John Perkins
      Salem, NH

      --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, "SJPERK5" <sjperk5@...> wrote:
      >
      > In the R. viscosum that bloom around Canobie Lake there is a range
      of
      > foliage types some with very glaucous leaves and very few hairs
      along the
      > stems and leaves of new growth. Its not just that they are more
      glaucous in
      > sunny locations as nearby plants can be more green in appearance
      with more
      > hairiness. All the flowers are very viscous and cling together
      when they go
      > by. Past blooms often stay on the plant because of the stickiness.
      >
      > Can anyone image what this conversation would be like if we lived
      in the
      > Himalayas? Would we have the same discussion about this side of
      the mountain
      > vs another? Up the slope and down the slope. Are they really
      different?
      > Maybe impeditum and fastigiatum are not separate species? It
      happened to the
      > yakushimanum-metternichii group. But we kept the makinoi separate?
      >
      > Sally Perkins, Salem, NH Just causing trouble.
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: azaleas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:azaleas@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of
      > Mike Creel
      > Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 12:14 AM
      > To: azaleas@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [AZ] Re: Check your arborescens for hairs on the
      leaves
      >
      > Arborescens seems to me one of our most distinctive native azalea
      species in
      > terms of foliage. In my native azalea collection I grow nothing
      that is as
      > smooth as arborescens. I grow one form that is most peculiar in
      that it
      > blooms in mid-April (about 2 months before the typical arborescens
      found in
      > the South Carolina mountains)and grows in an area well south of
      the nearest
      > arborescens, in just one area at the headwaters of the South
      Edisto River in
      > Aiken County, SC. I cannot explain this occurrence, but it is
      undoubtedly
      > arborescens.
      >
      > Other forms of arborescens include the standard form, the compact
      > Richardsonii form and the late Georgiana form. I grow all these
      too, except
      > for Richardsonii, which I lost in trying to root cuttings of it.
      I think
      > the cuttings were too soft, not my normal woody cuttings.
      >
      > Recently a friend found what seems to be a red native azalea near
      Ashville
      > that blooms in spring and fall. I hope one of us is able to root
      it. I am
      > thinking that someone planted a red calendulaceum and red
      prunifolium in the
      > same hole.
      >
      > Mike Creel, SC
      >
      > --- On Wed, 8/6/08, sjperk5 <sjperk5@...> wrote:
      >
      > From: sjperk5 <sjperk5@...>
      > Subject: [AZ] Re: Check your arborescens for hairs on the leaves
      > To: azaleas@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Wednesday, August 6, 2008, 7:00 PM
      >
      > Steve
      >
      > If you cross individuals from the late population and show that a
      > certain percentage bloom somewhat earlier and if these cross you
      get
      > earlier still and the same in reverse is true for the early
      > population then I can accept they may eventaully share DNA but if
      > both populations show no inclination to producing individuals with
      > differing bloom times from their own population then the 2
      > populations in my opinion are no longer the same species no matter
      > how much they look alike.
      >
      > John Perkins
      > Salem, NH
      > parent species.
      >
      >
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    • sjperk5
      Steve I also want to be clear, I personally have no definition of species that I have any reason to believe that there is a single botanist anywhere that would
      Message 36 of 36 , Aug 10, 2008
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        Steve

        I also want to be clear, I personally have no definition of species
        that I have any reason to believe that there is a single botanist
        anywhere that would fine acceptable.

        I have every reason to believe the definition of species used by
        gentlemen in question was a definition that the department of biology
        at his graduate school considered acceptable for the research he was
        doing on the spread of annual grasses in the eastern plains of the
        Rockies. I believe he was attempting to build computer models to show
        how annual grasses repopulated areas after certain events. I believe
        he had reasons to believe that hybrids sometimes were a major player.
        But I have never known anything about grasses so he would talk about
        things to me in terms of what it might meant for Rhododendrons.

        I have always been able to use definitions in math, chemistry,
        physics, and computer science but have never understood how botanists
        use definitions when it comes to the classification of species. Thus
        I merely accept their classification. I accept they are right but
        lack the ability to understand how they get from the facts to the
        actual classification even in very isolated instances such as the
        separation of R. colemanii and R. alabamense.

        John Perkins
        Salem, NH



        --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, "sjperk5" <sjperk5@...> wrote:
        >
        > Steve
        >
        > Are you saying there is not one definition of species but all
        > definitions include the concept of hybrids?
        >
        > I believe it is now accepted by at least some botanist that a
        hybrid
        > between 2 species can become a species that encompasses the 2
        > original species or a separate completely new species. The
        difference
        > between a viable fertile hybrid and a species is one of numbers and
        > persistant.
        >
        > My view which could be wrong and based on a complete
        misunderstanding
        > is that almost every botanist has a concept of species and hybrids
        > but that botanists in general do not agree on the definition of
        > either.
        >
        > The gentlemen in question certainly believed in the concept of
        > hybrids but for his purposes the swarm on Gregory was more like a
        > species than like a hybrid because the swarm was the population
        that
        > was interacting. The original species may have created the swarm
        but
        > the swarm was now what was effected the future generations of this
        > swarm and not the original species. In other words for now the
        swarm
        > was indeed acting like a species that had encompassed the orginal
        > species.
        >
        > I certainly do not understand the definition of species used to
        > classify Rhododendrons because I simply do not understand how
        > polyploidy caused R. colemanii and R. alabamense to be different. I
        > understand that this fact might cause one to want to divide the 2
        but
        > how using the definition does one arrive at them now being separate
        > where the new information of being polyploid is the one additional
        > piece of information.
        >
        > I do not believe anything in the definition implies that different
        > ploidy means different species where all other things can be
        ignored.
        >
        > In other words given all the facts except ploidy how does one use
        the
        > definition to conclude they are combined but using the additional
        > fact of different ploidy conclude they are now separate species.
        >
        > By my training that is what definitions are for.
        >
        > John Perkins
        > Salem, NH
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, "macpowerusers" <scouters@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi John,
        > >
        > > My point is that I don't consider a hybrid swarm a species.
        > According
        > > to your definition they would be the same. What is on Gregory
        Bald
        > is
        > > one or more hybrid swarms. If they can be divided into an early
        and
        > late
        > > distinct populations, there would be more than one hybrid swarm.
        > >
        > > I never ran across any definition in botany that considered a
        hybrid
        > > swarm a species. I doubt if anybody has. I only studied botany in
        > > college, none of the other disciplines of biology and that was
        years
        > > ago. However, Galle, Hyatt, etc. always speak of the hybrid
        swarm
        > at
        > > Gregory Bald.
        > >
        > > I will reference Don Hyatt's website on the hybrid swarm on
        Gregory
        > > Bald:
        > >
        > >
        http://www.tjhsst.edu/~dhyatt/azaleas/asa2001/asakeynote/node9.html
        > > <http://www.tjhsst.edu/%
        > 7Edhyatt/azaleas/asa2001/asakeynote/node9.html>
        > >
        > > --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, "sjperk5" <sjperk5@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Steve
        > > >
        > > > I do not believe there is any univerally accepted definition of
        > > > species in biology but I could well be wrong. In fact I do not
        > > > believe there is any univerally accepted definition of species
        in
        > > > botany but again I could be wrong. I have seen several
        definitions
        > > > for species in books and on the web.
        > > >
        > > > Cox and Cox mentions at least 2 definitions for species in The
        > > > Encyclopedia of Rhododendron Species including the one they use
        > for
        > > > their book.
        > > >
        > > > I simply do not understand how there can be lumpers and
        splitters
        > if
        > > > there is an univerally accepted definition of species but again
        > this
        > > > could be my lack of understanding. Seems to me once the facts
        are
        > > > agreed upon something either meets the definition or it does
        not.
        > > >
        > > > It is very common for different areas of the same subject to
        have
        > > > differing definitions. In math the definition of continuous
        > differs
        > > > from real analysis, complex analysis, algebra, and topology. In
        > some
        > > > cases they are shown to be equivalent to one another in other
        > > > instances they are not.
        > > >
        > > > I would not expect a biologist to have the same definition of
        > species
        > > > as a botanist. I would not expect a botanist studying evolution
        to
        > > > have the same definition of species as a a botanist studying
        > > > taxonomy. Moreover I doubt that even all taxonomists have the
        same
        > > > definition of species.
        > > >
        > > > What do you consider the accepted definition of species that
        > applies
        > > > to all fields of biology?
        > > >
        > > > Sally who studied biology for 6 years stated that she was
        > introduced
        > > > to a differenet definition of species in nearly every biology
        > course
        > > > she ever took. She finds nothing out of the norm about
        > considering a
        > > > species to involve only those populations that actively
        > interbreed if
        > > > one is studying the movement of plant populations over time. Now
        > > > Sally went to school on the east coast and the other gentlemen
        > went
        > > > to school in the mountain states in the west. I can safely say
        > that
        > > > Sally and this gentlemen has no problem discussing issues
        > involving
        > > > botany including issues dealing with species.
        > > >
        > > > Note: It is interesting to note that this person also stated on
        > > > hearing me mention that Rhododendron lapponicum and Ledum
        > > > groenlandicum were known to produce offspring in the wild that
        it
        > was
        > > > very unusual for species of differing genus to produce viable
        > > > offpring in nature even nonfertile ones unless the 2 species
        were
        > > > very similar. He wanted to know if anyone had shown it could
        breed
        > > > with other rhododendrons, other lepidotes, only lapponicum, and
        in
        > > > one or both directions. He wanted to know if other species of
        the
        > > > Ledum genus had been shown to breed with Rhododendrons. Now I
        am
        > not
        > > > claiming he thought they were as closely related as DNA has now
        > shown
        > > > but by his working model of species that was his first
        question.
        > He
        > > > simply did not care that they looked different enough to be
        > > > classified into differing genus. He want to know what they did
        > when
        > > > they interacted with one another. To him how they interacted
        was
        > the
        > > > important question. How they looked was merely an indicator of
        how
        > > > they might interact.
        > > >
        > > > John Perkins
        > > > Salem, NH
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, "Steve & Darlene Henning"
        > > > <rhodyman@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > Hi John,
        > > > >
        > > > > A crackpot is someone who says that they are practicing one
        > > > scientific
        > > > > discipline but wants to wants to use the definitions from
        > another
        > > > > scientific discipline. Rather than change the definitions
        they
        > need
        > > > > to change the theory and use new term with different
        > definitions.
        > > > > Once they start tampering with definitions no one has any
        idea
        > what
        > > > > the person is talking about. The person needs to come up
        with
        > new
        > > > > terms rather than redefine existing terms.
        > > > >
        > > > > If a person wants to sell their ideas to botanists, they need
        to
        > > > learn
        > > > > the jargon. I think this person probably has some very good
        > ideas
        > > > on
        > > > > plant evolution but the terms they are using are not
        consistent
        > with
        > > > > current practices of taxonomists. People studying plant
        > evolution
        > > > > can coexist with plant taxonomists, but they must respect each
        > > > others
        > > > > vocabulary.
        > > > >
        > > > > Plant taxonomists describe "stable" populations. Plant
        > > > evolutionists
        > > > > describe "dynamic" populations. They need to choose their
        own
        > terms
        > > > > rather than bastardize the others terms.
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In azaleas@yahoogroups.com, "sjperk5" <sjperk5@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > For modeling purposes he most certaily would have
        considered
        > the
        > > > 2
        > > > > > the same species if they when put in the same location
        > produced
        > > > > > viable offspring. In his modeling that is all that
        mattered.
        > To
        > > > say
        > > > > > someone is crackpot simply because he believes that the
        plants
        > > > that
        > > > > > actually produce offspring are the ones that are going to
        > > > determine
        > > > > > the future of a given population seems strange to me.
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
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