Letters to the Editor. Rebuttal to Sauleda
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In the Orchids issue for May of this year, Rubén Sauleda and Claudia Elena Gutiérrez commented on a few points of a book review I wrote for the second volume of Orchids, a Colombian Treasure, by Pedro Ortiz Valdivieso and Carlos Uribe Vélez. In particular, Rubén and Claudia Elena confirm the Colombian record of Encyclia belizensis, answering my suspicion that “the name of Colombian populations is misapplied, as it seems difficult to explain such a broad disjunction between the populations of northern Nicaragua and those of Colombia.” It is now clear that the “Colombian” record of this species is from the island of San Andrés, just 80 km from the east coast of Nicaragua. This is no doubt correct on political grounds, but it is biogeographically wrong, as I suspected, and confirms my hypothesis that a taxon exclusively known from northern Central America cannot, normally, bridge the isthmus to South America. The flora of the overseas territories should, in my opinion, always be treated in a special chapter, in order not to give an erroneous impression about the natural distribution of plants. Nobody, I guess, would include Dichaea pendula in an orchid flora of France, even though the type was described from the “ultramarine” French territories of Guyana.
- Biología