Mycorrhizae and cuckoos

Sean Edwards mzfses at MAIL1.MCC.AC.UK
Wed Sep 3 11:02:21 CDT 2003

On 2 Sep 2003, at 16:18, Monique Reed wrote:

> Orchidaceae--e.g., "these two similar species of orchids must be
> different because one forms relationships solely with fungus X, while
> the other depends solely on Y"

Surely there must many many precedents here -- cuckoos come to
mind (as they do).  I'm no ornithologist, but aren't the various
cuckoos difrerent races "that only form relationships soley with
host X, while another depends soley on Y"?  The orchids may have
different biochemistry, the cuckoos have different eggs.

What taxonomic status does zoological race have, and what would
the botanical equivalent be? Form or subform (Art. 24.1, Ex. 1)?
(Genodeme or genoecodeme or somesuch with no taxonomic
status (Gilmour & Heslop-Harrison, wayback 1954)?  Ask a code
expert, but surely never species or even subspecies?

Lichens must be another parallel, in reverse. The taxonomy is
fungal, but some species host more than one photobiont species,
sometimes simultaneously sometimes exclusively.


Sean R. Edwards BSc PhD,
Keeper of Botany,
The Manchester Museum, Manchester University, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
'Phone: +44 (0)161-275-2671/2; fax: +44 (0)161-275-2676
Email: sean.edwards at

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