Spurge is the Word


Name's Nathan Taylor and I I've been studying you for is for about the about seven years now. Hey Sand Yeah and I particularly focus on a little group called the section Nisa film which is sort of the San Matt like Lance so like spotted spurs prostrate splurge those weedy plants that you get your Your Line Darden. That have that White Milky Sap yet. It's cool that the you know. Those are something I grew up recognizing I mean. I didn't know what they were as a child. But it's it's a familiar group of plants to me you know. I think a lot of people that don't live in arid regions at least. That's probably their main introduction to the Spurs family. But I'm curious. What brought you to this in the first place. We always plant person. And how did you discover you four? Ac's kind of your your focus. Yeah so the main way that I found plants is I live in Dallas. I at the time and I was told by my family that we were moving out to the desert. And where you know. There wasn't really any lush vegetation at all and in the spring. I just saw all kinds of wildflowers and being the kind of person that I am. Naturally I wanted to identify every single one that I saw hand. It just kind of snowballed there now. How I got interested in You. Four via is. I had a mentor of time. Whose name is Bert Williams. And he he knew basically all of the local on the southern highpoints Texas and you four was really just the one group that he sort of just assigned the genus name to and didn't even try with a species. So I I sort of took. That is a challenge and from there when I went to Soros to get my Bachelor's and master's I decided that the best way to study these things would be just a photograph every species in the specimen cabinet. And then go back and look at those at home. Well it turns out that some of the species. That photograph were actually misidentification. Ooh that that added a at an added another Another way to sort of you know. Just push me right into into the groove things. That's a really interesting dive into this world. And from a standpoint of sort of species identification and taxonomy I mean some of the Spurs family's pretty easy to recognize although there's probably plenty of minute details but others can be pretty cryptic which I'm guessing lens to some of the taxonomic end species. Id Confusion You just mentioned definitely. Yeah I mean every every time I go to a herbarium I ended up with a a really good big Saka misidentified before so. This is a big family. And it's one of those that every time I think I have my finger on the pulse of what's going on. I see a few representatives that completely blow my mind in. Send me for a loop but how do you begin to even focus in a family as large as before be acn? I guess from there. We can kind of talk about the subdivisions within that group. Right so I mean the the big thing with you for AC. I mean I'm not. I'm not a huge expert on four. Ac as a whole but but it's really sort of divided by the power structure. You know some some species have pedal some don't Actually probably most of them are money. Isis and then with you for specifically you have the ATM and the site in is is sort of this. Modified infrared essence. That looks like a flower. It's sort of like the composite family in that. It has this the Sudan via this false flower that made up of of an invalid occur and then Various flowers in the middle of it. It is pretty wild to think about that in the context of it being in fluorescence in. It's one of those things that when you say or see anyone on the Internet say you forget. Flowers already. Goes actually. It's a safe but it is a really fascinating structure in it. I'm guessing is kind of what makes you for AC unique or one of the characters that Kinda unites a lot of them Under this taxonomic umbrella definitely and it. It is the essentially. The uniting structure of Euphoria message genus very cool. So how did you end up falling? Into the subgroup Are With the chemist icy type growth form that we've mentioned earlier something that I think a lot of people especially if you live in urban areas or have a sidewalk near your house can probably recognize so it fits into a couple of categories for me that I sort of came to appreciate early on and For whatever reason I really like we species and I really like plants that are small and so this is spit imperfectly for me. And in the fact that the Trans Pecos region of Texas. Which isn't that far away for. Me Is sort of the center of diversity for the group. That's sort of where the plants evolved initially he? The region has sort of a representative of all of the major lineages within this within the section. Oh that's really cool. And so they've just sort of radiated outwards from there and made their way up into the super tempered areas. I'm guessing now because of human activity can be found over a much wider range than the initially would have in a natural setting right right. I mean that that said the you know the the group is actually to diversified on its own worldwide. Yeah so I mean except for the Arctic climates course but yeah it especially in desert. The plants love desserts and really sort of exploded in biodiversity In desert regions around the world. That's excellent and in thinking about the success of a group like this that can conquer so many different types of habitats. I you just said the desserts I see them in temperate zones see them in wet habitats. See them in prairies. A lot of that comes down to the fact that they figured out how to utilize a lot of different types of photosynthetic systems. Right yes yes and actually it is the only see for Winnie edge in phobia and within the section. You actually have both see photosynthesis and an intermediate to photosynthesis which not many people know about. I didn't know that that the but yeah. So it's it's a cool sort of intermediary step that uses a a two carbon molecules sort of funnel the the Co two to the bundle sheath cells instead of a a c four molecule like malic acid and came ascites also has a single C. three plant. Euphoria and Gus Sir. So C four photosynthesis really did serve. Diversify I with this section in this film group he I may have mentioned And basically that sort of the old genus name for it so still switching taxing on gears a little bit if I if I say that that's okay. It's hard to keep up sometimes especially with such complexity in morphology in types in you know this is a group. People generally pay attention to so. Of course there's going to be a lot of changes and updates. But I'm GONNA on the subject of photosynthetic Percy it may be the only genus known that also had as pam it has all those for photosynthetic systems so like the the second species in Africa. He those are actually cam plants so like like tactile out West so you have a wad of diversity in this group as far as photosynthetic systems. It's pretty wild because you know they're plants. Photosynthesis is kind of the main stay of that entire lineage of organisms for the most part and to think about all of the variety in that system you could possibly have. I mean just the thought that there could be an intermediate step between this the C. Two thing that I had never even heard of before until now and I'm wondering if you know is there any indication of what the sort of the end type was for this group or for you phobia in general or is it kind of independent evolutionary trajectories depending on where these originated in how they diversified into what kinds of habitats right right so the the origin of euphoria in general? Masada occur in sort of the South Pacific islands around New Caledonia And it sort of a one of a most ancestoral fees. It's actually not a euphoria. It's I can't remember Gina's name off the top of my head but it has a site apium but it's not quite as well structured as a regular you forget ended sort of a sort of a shrub plants in in that area now the the origin of section in this film. I know a lot more about their a lot of really cool features that sort of unite this group but one of the main things is that I mean it it. It evolved from plants. That looked more. Like let's say the gophers purge so like four elaborate before the rigid That sort of SEO like structure the seventeen setiawah basically it. It has this of main stem with with alternate leaves But the emperor essence is sort of KSM with the world of leaves at the base and then it has Casal Branson's That sort of come off that importance and all on that occasion it has opposite leaves he in section and this film they only have opposite leaves. They don't have any alternate leaves at all and that sort of led to the speculation that basically announce analogous to a an import about SC group

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