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  #21  
Old 12-09-2014, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by orchidsarefun View Post
its pretty standard troll practice to attack the messenger and not the message. If you don't like what someone has to say, then don't reply. Easy principle to live by ?
Normally I would agree, but epiphyte has been towing the same flawed line now for some time. His ability to fill a page with words while simultaneously saying nothing is truly astounding. His complete lack of understand regarding conservation biology is only matched by his inability to grasp basic biological concepts as people line up to attempt to teach him. After a certain amount time, people realize he is completely beyond reproach and the thread ends up the same: insults are exchanged, he disappears for a while and then comes back to try and rally the troops to actions that are not only completely lacking in biological basis, hypothesis or evidence; but are completely illegal!! He then asks people to "explain" further even though there is nothing left to say!! At some point, the messenger needs to be attacked because the message has been so thoroughly devalued and repeated so many times that one realizes that the message isn't the problem.
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  #22  
Old 12-09-2014, 09:10 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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repeated so many times
What, exactly, have I repeated so many times? And how many times is "so many"? If it helps, here are the threads that I've started.
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  #23  
Old 12-10-2014, 12:31 AM
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I believe 'so many' refers to the places you've reposted this article/your theories (Gardenweb, orchidforum, orchidboard, r/orchids, etc...). Apparently you believe this is truly a highly valued piece of writing that should be spread around.

While I am quite certain any point I will make towards epiphyte will fall on deaf ears, my biggest fear is that some innocent reader without a scientific background might actually interpret these insane deductions as fact. It is to you, dear readers, to whom I address this post.

Orchidsarefun: Please allow me to reference this thread, where I initially very patiently attempted to explain some simple concepts regarding evolution, biodiversity, and the impact of introduced species into the wild. I quickly realized, unfortunately, that normal logic is completely lost on this individual.

For instance, in my last message, I mention that if I see a invasive hybrid dendrobium in the wild, I wouldn't hesitate ripping it out, referencing loosestrife, water hyacinth, and periwinkle as other invasive weeds that have required similar removal in Canada due to out-competing native species and destroying habitats.

In Epiphyte's response, however, he's completely missed the point. He asks snidely whether I would throw away this hybrid dendrobium, keep it, or sell it. (FYI, the answer is throw it away)

Then he goes on to talk about people risking their lives for orchids, and whether they would risk their lives to collect loosestrife, periwinkle, and water hyacinth. WHAT?! I don't even....that doesn't even make any sense!

I hope this illustrates the complete lack of sense and reason to these theories that have been concocted. Without being rude or nasty, despite the sprinklings of random scientific sounding quotes, the bottom line is none of this actually makes any sense at all!!

Biologists and environmentalists (people who have actually studied this and gone to school for it) on every forum this has been posted have expressed dismay at this horrific concept of introducing a hybrid into the wild in some twisted guise of 'conservation'. Yet, somehow the numerous arguments these trained scientists have provided have not been enough to satisfy Epiphyte. Instead, he holds fast to random passages from Darwin (published 150 years ago) and little snippets of context-less articles, vehemently defending his position.

By the way, let me summarize that article that Epiphyte has been proudly parading around. In plain English: "Natural hybrids happen between species. Epidendrum is an example where this has happened. Some of these hybrids may evolve enough to be categorized as species in the future. Maybe we should protect them."

This does not support artificially creating hybrids and spreading them about in the wild. It makes absolutely NO recommendation on how a man-made hybrid should be treated. This is a classic example where, I'm assuming due to lack of basic knowledge, Epiphyte has taken something completely out of context and twisted it to support his far flung theories.

What I truly don't understand is why Epiphyte is so passionate about creating something and spreading it into the wild. I doubt there would be much opposition to breeding for better traits. Go crazy breeding the biggest cattleya, or the most colourful phal - people have been doing that for years and years. Breed that temperature tolerant epidendrum that can grow at -10. But for godsakes, why can't he just keep them in his damn garden or green house?!

To Epiphyte: In the kindest and gentlest way possible, what does it take to get it through your head - NO ONE wants your hybrids in the pristine wildness! NO ONE! Hold on, let me just check again...nope. No one!
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  #24  
Old 12-10-2014, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by calvin_orchidL View Post
I believe 'so many' refers to the places you've reposted this article/your theories (Gardenweb, orchidforum, orchidboard, r/orchids, etc...). Apparently you believe this is truly a highly valued piece of writing that should be spread around.

While I am quite certain any point I will make towards epiphyte will fall on deaf ears, my biggest fear is that some innocent reader without a scientific background might actually interpret these insane deductions as fact. It is to you, dear readers, to whom I address this post.

Orchidsarefun: Please allow me to reference this thread, where I initially very patiently attempted to explain some simple concepts regarding evolution, biodiversity, and the impact of introduced species into the wild. I quickly realized, unfortunately, that normal logic is completely lost on this individual.

For instance, in my last message, I mention that if I see a invasive hybrid dendrobium in the wild, I wouldn't hesitate ripping it out, referencing loosestrife, water hyacinth, and periwinkle as other invasive weeds that have required similar removal in Canada due to out-competing native species and destroying habitats.

In Epiphyte's response, however, he's completely missed the point. He asks snidely whether I would throw away this hybrid dendrobium, keep it, or sell it. (FYI, the answer is throw it away)

Then he goes on to talk about people risking their lives for orchids, and whether they would risk their lives to collect loosestrife, periwinkle, and water hyacinth. WHAT?! I don't even....that doesn't even make any sense!

I hope this illustrates the complete lack of sense and reason to these theories that have been concocted. Without being rude or nasty, despite the sprinklings of random scientific sounding quotes, the bottom line is none of this actually makes any sense at all!!

Biologists and environmentalists (people who have actually studied this and gone to school for it) on every forum this has been posted have expressed dismay at this horrific concept of introducing a hybrid into the wild in some twisted guise of 'conservation'. Yet, somehow the numerous arguments these trained scientists have provided have not been enough to satisfy Epiphyte. Instead, he holds fast to random passages from Darwin (published 150 years ago) and little snippets of context-less articles, vehemently defending his position.

By the way, let me summarize that article that Epiphyte has been proudly parading around. In plain English: "Natural hybrids happen between species. Epidendrum is an example where this has happened. Some of these hybrids may evolve enough to be categorized as species in the future. Maybe we should protect them."

This does not support artificially creating hybrids and spreading them about in the wild. It makes absolutely NO recommendation on how a man-made hybrid should be treated. This is a classic example where, I'm assuming due to lack of basic knowledge, Epiphyte has taken something completely out of context and twisted it to support his far flung theories.

What I truly don't understand is why Epiphyte is so passionate about creating something and spreading it into the wild. I doubt there would be much opposition to breeding for better traits. Go crazy breeding the biggest cattleya, or the most colourful phal - people have been doing that for years and years. Breed that temperature tolerant epidendrum that can grow at -10. But for godsakes, why can't he just keep them in his damn garden or green house?!

To Epiphyte: In the kindest and gentlest way possible, what does it take to get it through your head - NO ONE wants your hybrids in the pristine wildness! NO ONE! Hold on, let me just check again...nope. No one!
Perfectly said.
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  #25  
Old 12-10-2014, 07:33 AM
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We all know that introduced species can become invasive to the point of becoming a pest - Australian Cane Toads as a prime example. I am sure there are thousands of other examples. The law of unintended consequences usually kicks in too.
However, in this specific topic, and as alleged by epiphyte78, there is already an existing 'laboratory' underway in Jamaica regarding these 2 species. If that is true, and I haven't researched this myself, then more factual data and information/discussion transcends any entrenched position on whatever forum.
If none is forthcoming then that is an answer in itself.
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  #26  
Old 12-10-2014, 12:20 PM
epiphyte78 epiphyte78 is offline
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orchidsarefun, you brought up some good points and questions, but it seems that I've mistakenly assigned lindenii to Jamaica. Clearly I'm fallible.

If you get a chance you should read this excellent article on leafless epiphytic orchids...especially the section on Dendrophylax. The author shares info about habitat loss/changes that have led to declining population sizes of Dendrophylax species. It's possible that lindenii might already be extinct in Cuba...and fawcettii is down to one remaining kilometer of habitat in the Grand Cayman Island. In Florida, the numerous canals have lowered the water level in lindenii's swamp habitat which results in the orchid being subjected to colder temperatures.

If Dendrophylax species were adapting as quickly as their habitats are changing...then there wouldn't be an issue. But it seems pretty obvious that they aren't adapting fast enough. Their distributions are drastically diminishing. Would crossing the species among themselves create new combinations of tools/traits that are better adapted to modified habitats? I think it's possible, and obviously I think it's an option worth serious consideration.

Unfortunately, there aren't too many people who can think about the topic objectively! They'd prefer to accuse me of encouraging others to attach Dendrophylax hybrids to trees in the wild. But I've said over and over that this is simply a theory. It's not a call to action, it's a call for serious and thoughtful discussion and consideration. Being in Southern California I am certainly in no position to act on this theory and if some people in the tropics do act on it then perhaps those with concerns should have used their heads rather than their hearts to express themselves.

Herclivation is a new approach that should be thoroughly explored. Perhaps we might not be able to save the species as we know them...but we might be able to save the genus. We might be able to save enough traits of Dendrophylax to keep it functional/relevant. And what's the difference between using species or hybrids to keep Dendrophylax in nature?

A Dendrophylax hybrid wouldn't be able to survive in nature without a pollinator. The hybrid could be attached to a tree but if its flowers aren't pollinated...then that combination of traits won't proliferate.

The hybrid also wouldn't be able survive in nature without a fungal partner. A Dendrophylax hybrid could be attached to a tree and have its flowers pollinated...but if the seeds fail to receive nutrients from a fungal partner...then that combination of traits won't proliferate.

So if the hybrid does proliferate then it's because it matched the preferences of at least one pollinator and one fungal partner. If the Dendrophylax hybrid is good enough for a pollinator and a fungus, then how can I argue that it's not good enough for me? Perhaps that hybrid could be the difference between the pollinator and fungus surviving or going extinct.

Yet, some people wouldn't think twice about tearing a functional Dendrophylax hybrid from a tree and throwing it in the garbage. Evidently their preferences trump the preferences of the orchid's pollinator and fungal partner.

Taking options away from the pollinators and fungal partners of epiphytic orchids seems far less constructive than giving them more options.
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  #27  
Old 12-10-2014, 01:00 PM
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I'm truly baffled by this thread. I don't typically speak up in threads like this one, I've only posted one comment which was "Voted!" and had better believe it was a down vote.

Anyways, I really don't think the decision falls on the pollinators or the fungal partners. Your thinking seems to be as follows

If "a" happens, "b" should happens which results in "c" which is fantastic!

When reality functions as follows:

There aren't enough letters in any alphabet to represent the possibilities of "a", "b", "c".

The most brilliant scientist in the world would be a fool to claim they understood what would happen to the ecosystems of the surrounding area.
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  #28  
Old 12-10-2014, 01:05 PM
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And lets not forget that no amount of hybridization will make up for habitat destruction. Epiphyte, if you actually care about conserving the species (and yes, I said the species, not some mongrel version of the species) then focus your time and money on working to preserve what habitat remains. You should also spend less time on coming up with cockamamie hypotheses and inventing "new" words for terms that already exist (herclivation [fake] vs eurythermal [real]).
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  #29  
Old 12-10-2014, 02:55 PM
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epiphyte78 your latest posting is at least reasoned and worthy of discussion.
Whether or not you agree with climate change or not, the fact remains that natural habitats for many species are being rapidly denuded. One can argue that through a process of natural selection or evolution, species will eventually adapt to that new habitat...or die. That may take hundreds of years but its time that many species obviously do not have. Anything dependent on that species for survival will also have to adapt or die. The purists on this thread are ultimately saying that no species is preferable to any hybrid. So co-dependent species will also just have to die off too.
I don't understand that thinking at all. Many individuals are already trying, and failing, to stop habitat destruction - but you can't stop 'progress'. Only a Walking Dead scenario would stop the human population explosion and the demand for more space.
I think epiphyte78 is just putting forward a possible solution to jumpstart that evolutionary process. You don't have to agree with him/her. Or me. Geez.
Invasive species are typically fast-growing, fast reproducing and displace native species. I don't think that a ghost orchid hybrid would fit in any of these categories. I don't know if this hybrid is sterile but even if it isn't, it would face exactly the same issues as the species. Ideal reproductive conditions would be the first hurdle and the fact that there is apparently no natural pollinator would be also be insurmountable until a pollinator adapted. It would be a decades-long project if adopted.
Thinking about a possible solution is not the same as unilaterally introducing one or even saying its practical but it seems like quite a few people have a problem with being open minded on this. Even a broken clock is right 2x a day.
.....on the other hand my propagator has told me that the Ghost Orchid is very easy to propagate in the lab and I doubt whether it would ever be a candidate for extinction.
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  #30  
Old 12-10-2014, 07:16 PM
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The purists on this thread are ultimately saying that no species is preferable to any hybrid. So co-dependent species will also just have to die off too.
Wrong. The "purists" are saying that a hybrid is different than the species. No one has said this species being extinct is the preferred option. And no species will die if the ghost orchid goes away. The giant sphinx moth, which is assumed to be the main pollinator, thrives on other species. The ghost depends on the moth, not the other way around.

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I think epiphyte78 is just putting forward a possible solution to jumpstart that evolutionary process.
That is exactly what he is doing. And history has shown failure over and over and over and over and over again when humans start mucking around with the environment or its constituents (ie. the species). This species is not disappearing because of anything other than over collecting and habitat loss due to development, not global warming. This species has a narrow set of biotic and abiotic conditions in which it needs to thrive. When coupled with captive breeding programs to supply the hobbyists, habitat conservation is the ONLY way to keep this species in existence in the wild. Hybridization is not needed. At all.
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