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  Re: Not-so-Simple Peace Lilies
From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2001.06.13 at 20:17:18(6734)
Ron and Al,

I have that 1976 Selbyana article. The paper is a discussion about
pollination of Spaths in neotropics, particularly by Euglossine bees. Some
species of Spathiphyllum attract only one Euglossine species, others attract
several species. There is a comparison of pollinators visiting Anthurium.
Parallels are drawn between Euglossine pollination in orchids (esp. in
Catasetinae and Gongoreae and others). Scents in all these various flowers
are similar (to our noses), although this paper does not go into fragrance
analysis. In addition, the paper discusses a couple of different theories
about Spathiphyllum sect. Massowia in the old world and seemingly unrelated
species in the neotropics, why did this dispersal occur in the genus? There
is a link to Holochlamys evolution from Spathiphyllum in old world. The issue
of fused tepals (old world sect. Massowia) vs. free tepals (most neotropical
species) seems to suggest that the old world species are more advanced, yet
is it possible that Spaths originated in the old world and neotropical
members of the genus came later? If so, why do the neotropical species have
free tepals, which are considered less advanced? I have not read lately the
evolutionary discussion in "Genera of the Araceae" to see if any of these
theories have been developed or thrown out, so I need to read it again. Could
be these hypotheses are all considered bunk now. The paper presents an
interesting speculation that diverse Spathiphyllum species evolved in the
neotropics as adaptation to selective attraction of pollinators via slight
changes in floral scents. Since no Euglossines occur in the old world perhaps
this is why there are more spath species in the neotropics?

If there is enough interest in this paper perhaps we should try to get
permission to put it online?

Donna Atwood

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