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Re: Hybrids (was E. cordifolius)
Roger wrote, regarding the concept of "species":
"Isn't a hybrid between two species *supposed* to be sterile? I believe
that is the classical definition of species, so the "loss" of a species
through cross-breeding has always meant to me that the taxonomists'
definition of the species was incorrect to start with."
I think maybe a lot are coming around to the concept of "populations" more
than the traditional definition of species. Different populations can differ
over a wide range - some may be capable of interbreeding, others might be
too differentiated for viable offspring to be produced. In the Xiphophorus
complex, this is certainly the case, and it seems to apply in the plant
world to Crypts as well.
"How much potential damage do you think there is from a weak hybrid?"
Some hybrids may be weak, at least in an aquarium setting. How they would
react in a natural setting is anyone's guess and there are already too many
man-made mistakes going around (in nature) to encourage more.
I'm not against hybridization - I'm only against unwitting release.....just
look into the situation with genetically enhanced grain crops..... that's an
explosion waiting to happen. The big chemical companies are already bringing
law suits against farmers who's crops have been inadvertently been cross
pollinated by "patented" fields miles away.
Selective breeding within a species or population is one thing - it brought
us the modern guppy, but what is wrong with keeping lines pure?
Some hybrids exhibit increased vigour (i.e hybrid vigour) - they are larger,
more colorful, stronger than either parent species.
"For what it's worth, when I asked the original question about growing E.
cordifolius from seed I had no interest in hybridizing anything."
I never suspected that you were..... you just happened to have some seeds
that developed on your plants.