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Re: Ceratopteris varieties
Let me argue from the Devil's advocate position for a moment. Most of
these varieties of Ceratopteris are propagated vegetatively and so it
will be very possible to have a particular genetic variety grown and
distributed which shares a particular growth characteristic and very
similar genetic material; much more similar than genetic material from
plants which are reproduced sexually from seed.
When we start to examine the differences between species and varieties
with the aid of chromosome and DNA analysis, I think we are finding that
there is a whole lot of grey area and that there really is no clear
delineation between speciation and varieties. If you were to examine
canines, you'd find enough variation to suspect there are hundreds of
species of dog yet these dogs are a single species because they can all
be bred together successfully. I think that is the definition of a
species but you biologists will probably correct me.
We aquarists prefer to believe that there are lots of species (or
varieties) because we are always searching for something new and unique
and perhaps *rare*! Good news, if aquatic plant breeding becomes as
popular as creating new cultivars of roses and begonias, we will have no
shortage of new Sword plants, Ferns and Crypts in the years to come.