Is there a visible difference between different ECOTYPES?

njbiologyAugust 29, 2008


Is there a visible difference between different ECOTYPES?

In a native seed commercial catalogue, I see that certain species of the same plant (for instance, wild side-oats gramma) is listed separately according to its ecotype/origin. i.e. PA, Niagrafall NY, and another location that I forgot.

Would there be a noticeable difference between the same plant of different ecotypes. Does a cardinal flower, for instance, from PA look the same as one from MN or OH?



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Sometimes there is a visible difference. Switchgrass can vary in height from 2 - 3 feet up to 8 to 10 feet, depending on where it is from. However, the real reason to care about local genetic strains is that local strains have genes that adapt them to local climate, soils, etc. Little bluestem grass from Texas may not do well in North Dakota.

People who care about saving the full diversity of species that God created and/or evolved also care to save the ecosystems that were created/evolved as well as the genetic strains that were created/evolved. Modern conservation biology seeks to conserve the diversity of life at all levels from ecosystems to species to genes.

Are there unique aspects to local types in your area? Yes. Are they disappearing? Probably. Are they worth seeking out? I think so. Are the differences visible? Sometimes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:11PM
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petzold6596(8b southern NM)

After reading your post, I am confused after reeding your seed want list. Some of the seeds you seek are not native to western MI. If I'm wrong correct me.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:14PM
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