Re: statistics

From: Fernando Rivadavia Lopes (
Date: Sat May 15 1999 - 12:27:09 PDT

Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 12:27:09 PDT
From: "Fernando Rivadavia Lopes" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1686$foo@default>
Subject: Re: statistics


> > this on the listserv, here it goes again: U.RENIFORMIS IS NOT
> > EPIPHYTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> > It has been recorded growing among the dead leaf axils of > bromeliads,
>but 99.999999% of the times it grows as a TERRESTRIAL > in the wild!!!!
>So you have seen (or heard of, from reliable sources) at least 1 E 8
>terrestrial specimens of a single species of _Utricularia_ (if there
>was only one epiphytic specimen, the existence of which you seem to
>admit) in the wild. Now that is truly remarkable! I doubt even Peter
>Taylor has seen (i.e. examined individually) a hundred million
>specimens of the whole genus during his fifty years of research (and
>it would not be possible to judge the original habit from all
>conserved samples!). Quite certainly not even all _Utricularia_
>specimens in all herbaria on this planet would be sufficient for such
>a survey.

        Did I say 99.999999% of the times? Hum, yes I agree this is probably
wrong. I should have added a few more 9's to it!!

        Jan, you need to come out of the herbarium a bit more often and
shake off that moth ball smell! :):) Since when was I referring to herbarium
specimens? You seem to have forgotten about the importance of field

        I've seen U.reniformis countless times in the wild, in numerous
different habitats, in 5 Brazilian states: Minas Gerais, Espririto Santo,
Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Parana (where it had never even been recorded
before, according to Taylor). I have visited the type location of
U.reniformis (Serra do Caraca), discovered the northernmost locations for
this species (Diamantina and Pico do Itambe), the highest location (Pico da
Bandeira, at c.2800m alt.), the lowest (Cardoso Island, 50m alt. or less),
the most inland (Serra da Canastra, over 400km), and have been to the
Itatiaia highlands where U.reniformis grows like grass.

       I sure as hell believe I've seen 1 E 8 U.reniformis plants in the
wild, if not more!! Nonetheless I have NEVER seen any U.reniformis growing
in the leaf axils of bromeliads.

       Furthermore, not a single U.reniformis herbarium specimen, among the
many I've seen, were claimed to have been collected in bromeliad leaf axils.
It would be very unusual for someone to collect U.reniformis growing in a
bromeliad and not mention this fact under the "habitat" for that herbarium
specimen. I know they always do so for U.nelumbifolia...

       I have observed that U.nelumbifolia will occasionally produce mutant
reniform leaves in the wild and in cultivation, instead of the usual
orbicular peltate leaves. So I wonder if some of the confusion is not a
result of this occasional natural accident.

       The only confirmed report I know of U.reniformis growing in a
bromeliad was made by my friend Fabio Pinheiro who recently found this
species on the coastal highlands of S.Paulo state growing at the base of
bromeliads, among the dead leaves. I saw the pictures he took too.

       Therefore I'll reconfirm my previous statement, that U.reniformis
should NOT be considered epiphytic because 99.999999% of the times it is
found growing as a terrestrial and only VERY rarily as an epiphyte (and even
then, only barely so). I'll just add that it is "approximately" 99.999999%
of the times, maybe more, maybe less.

>Have you contacted the Guinness (book of records, not the beer) people

       In Peter Taylor's monograph he claims to have studied around 50,000
herbarium specimens of Utricularia, of which only a small percentage were
U.reniformis I'm sure. But apparently U.reniformis is not among the 90
species he claims to have seen in the wild.

       I can't claim to have seen a fraction as many Utric herbarium
specimens as Taylor, but I have seen around 70 Utric species in the wild in
only 9 years of CP hunting. If you did not notice in the paragraphs above a
few of the new "records" I set, well get ready to have this record of
Taylor's beaten before too long! I've got around 20 species to go... nothing
that a week in northern Australia at the right time of year can't solve...

Best Wishes,

Fernando Rivadavia
Sao Paulo, Brazil

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