Paph godefroyae fma. leucochilum OR Paph. leucochilum???

Discussion in 'Taxonomy' started by poozcard, May 17, 2011.

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  1. May 17, 2011 #1

    poozcard

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    I am wondering after reading some paper about the status of leuco which is now considered as Paph.godefroyae fma. leucochilum.

    There is one study by Fowlie that stated it should be Paph.leucochilum species with the reason of differences between leuco and godefroyae.

    some of those examples are
    1. the color of the flower is in cream-yellow in leuco while it is white in godefroyae
    2. the difference in shape of staminode

    Moreover, the habitat distribution is isolated from each other, not at all overlapping. P.leuco are found only in west coast of Thai peninsular (Andaman sea, in Krabi and Phangna province) while P.godefroyae are found only in east coast.

    if i follow this guideline, i would say, the P.leuco should be considered as a species or subsp.
    http://books.google.co.th/books?id=0bYs8F0Mb9gC&lpg=PR2-IA69&ots=5PApJACkGB&dq=taxonomy%20variety%20form%20subspecies%20difference&pg=PR2-IA69#v=onepage&q=taxonomy%20variety%20form%20subspecies%20difference&f=false


    anyway, it is from my limited knowledge and would like everyone please help me in these 2 simple questions.

    1. What is the rules of use of species/infra sp. classification?
    2. Should leucochilum be consider as separated species?

    Thank you in advance.

    :rollhappy:
     
  2. May 17, 2011 #2

    Ernie

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    Psssssht. The sound of a can of worms opening. I'll be brief for once.

    1. It's subjective.
    2. You'll get opinions for and against.
     
  3. May 17, 2011 #3

    etex

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    Good questions- I have wondered about this myself.
     
  4. May 18, 2011 #4

    valenzino

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    This distinction is getting every year more difficult due to new colonies found with intermediate characteristics,and also throught breeding some doubt arised(as you shurely know in thailand there are hybrids sold as species....godes with inside bellatulum for example,that have been back crossed to godefroyae many times to "hide" the hybrid origin...).
    The most important feature to describe the difference between Godefroyae and leucochilum is described in the name:leucochilum means "white lip" someway.So the real difference is that godefroyae have dots on pouch and leucochilum have no spots on the lip.
    The problem is that there are some cases in wich two leucochilum plant crossed have produced an outcome with some spots on pouch.This can confirm that godef. and leucoc. are from same ancestral origin and so have to be considered one a variety or subspecies of the other.
     
  5. May 18, 2011 #5

    Braem

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    1) as far as colour is concerned, there is now general agreement between taxonomists that colour "varieties" are to be regarded as "forma" ... that is as "forms".
    2) the shape of the staminodal shield in ALL plants of the subgenus Brachypetalum is rather variable ... thus, that is no reason to consider "leucochilum" a different species either.
    3) the problem with differences in progeny when using thes plants in hybridization is known ... but that is normal ... thus that is not a good marker either.
     
  6. May 18, 2011 #6

    Braem

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    Right! ... and that will always be so as there will never be agreement on how to define anything at any taxonomic level.
    But because it is a can of worms does not mean that it is not worth discussing.
     
  7. May 18, 2011 #7

    poozcard

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    Thank you all for answering.
    I really appreciate that.

    I can confirm what valenzino mentioned that it is a mess in Thai breeding that they are hiding by backcrossing which make things harder.

    but, What about other question that what is the criteria for classification of species or lower level?

    I have been searching many books but could not find any clear answer yet.
     
  8. May 20, 2011 #8

    Pete

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    theyre all godefroyaes. some just have a completely clean pouch, others are creamier while some are whiter. if you have plants originating from these documented different sources and they exhibit "appropriate" characteristics worthy of calling them a forma leucochilum, then do it. im agree with pretty much all that valenzino and braem said
     
  9. May 20, 2011 #9

    Rick

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    I think another way to look at this is that there are 3 major types of brachypetalum Concolor, belatulum, and niveum. And everything else is in the smear between belatulum at the northern extreame and niveum in the southern end of brachy range. I think the polinator ecology of this group would be intensly interesting to see how this relatively widespread (geographically) group of similar flower forms is diverging or converging into these populations of subtle differences.
     
  10. May 20, 2011 #10

    Heather

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    Interesting. I always get the two mixed up so I appreciate the latin translation of leucochilum. That will help me remember!
     
  11. May 21, 2011 #11

    Braem

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    Yes .. it is actually very simple ... if there is any spot on the pouch it simply is not a "leucochilum". Just like the many "alba" forms that are floating through literature ... if the flower is not white it is not "alba".
     
  12. May 21, 2011 #12

    poozcard

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    could anyone advise me which paper that i can find the 'general criteria' for species classification?
     
  13. May 21, 2011 #13

    poozcard

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    oh, this is very clear. it is nothing to do with where the plant was found right?

    :clap::clap::clap:

    thank you.
     
  14. May 21, 2011 #14

    Braem

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    There is NONE
     
  15. May 21, 2011 #15

    Braem

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    Of course not. However, there is a serious taxonomic problem: If a plant is officially described (following the rules of taxonomy) as var. alba, or forma alba, or soecies alba, or whatever, the name has to be kept, even if the flower is not white. I know this is pretty stupid ... but that is what the rules say (assuming of course, that the publication was is valid and effective.)
     
  16. May 21, 2011 #16

    poozcard

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    May I ask you a little more on this. Hope it will not be annoying.

    If there is no general criteria, is there any hint that what matters for sp clarification?
    Period of blooming? or Natural pollenator? or Physical characteristic of major sexual organs such as hair in pouch or staminode?

    It is just my feeling that it should be some key item for taxonomist ussually use to identify sp.

    Thank you again.
     
  17. May 22, 2011 #17

    Roth

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    From flasks, call them 'cute hybrids' :D
     
  18. May 22, 2011 #18

    Braem

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    Of course you may ask. The problem is that we follow a set of rules called "International Code of Botanical Nomenclature". That set of rules gives us a way to "standardize" descriptions and naming but does not (and never will .. but about that later) give any guidelines of what is to be considered a "biological" criterion fit to be used to deliniate any entity at any taxonomic level. A famous biologist (It think it way Mayr .. if I remember correctly) once said " a species within the plant world is that what a competent botanist describes as such."
    Thus there are NO rules except "common sense" (whatever that may be) for deciding : species, subspecies, variety, form ... and if someone considers leucochilum a good autonomous species (I do not) then one must simply ask : is that common sense .... and to consider a species on the colour of a pouch ALONE is (in my view) not very common sence. For example, Masdevallia coccinea comes in red, yellow and white ... so if one would consider flower colour to be a good marker at the species level in orchid taxonomy, we would have to describe all three colour forms as different species.

    Now comes the tricky point of my posting (and I will be scolded and flamed for it): the other problem of taxonomy is that ANYONE can publicize ANYTHING as long as he/she finds a journal to do so ... Don't get me wrong, this has nothing to do with Peer Review .. it simply has to do with "professional training" ... (And this is not saying that we botanist do not make mistakes).
    But would you have your appendix taken out by a baker? a lawyer? an architect?

    Period of blooming: that differs geographically ...
    Pollinator: there may be several ... and that would be extremely difficult if not impossible.
    hair on the pouch or some organ ... that varies
    staminodal shield ... is a good marker within SOME groups

    But then again, how much "different" is "enough" and how many criteria must be given ....

    The species definition in animals is simple and straight forward (when they interbreed and produce fertile offspring, it is a good species) , but in plants there is no definition that works .....
     
  19. May 22, 2011 #19

    poozcard

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    Your answer is very impressive.
    I feel like I am opening a door to new world :D

    I am a civil engineer who believe that it should be some hint of nature that we can derive a numerical formula for designing structure.
    That is why it is difficult to me at the beginning, to accept the fact that you explained.
    But now, it is clear that there is no definition that works at the moment, so bad :(

    To understand how nature works is not easy at all.
    Thank you for your kind explanation.
     
  20. May 22, 2011 #20

    Braem

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    anytime ... and the fact that nature does not work along "schedules" make it interesting. Humans always think that they are the ones that must understand and must control everything. But we humans are part of Nature, not the other way around.
     

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