ITIS principles ?

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Wed Sep 2 17:44:52 CDT 1998

At 12:07 PM 9/2/98 -0700, Peter Rauch wrote:
>The following (far below) is the ITIS www page on "Standards" for ITIS.
>     * A five kingdom system has been adopted as a standard. The kingdoms
>       are Monera, Protista, Plantae, Fungi, and Animalia.

I hope I live long enough to see the "five-kingdom" system die. Even my
conservative colleagues have taught for 20 years and more that the Protista
are a dumping ground for eukaryotes that don't fit in Animalia, Plantae, or
Fungi, and even they understand the term "paraphyletic" when the Protista
are given as an example. That anyone would propose to preserve a system
that puts Charophyceae and land plants in separate kingdoms is ludicrous.

For the purposes of ITIS, there is no point to any level of classification
above Phylum.

>     * Protists, depending on the group considered, have historically
>       been treated according to either the zoologial code (i.e.
>       protozoans) or the botanical code (i.e. algae) and in some cases
>       according to both. Also, the algae are often classifed into
>       multiple kingdoms. ITIS will make practical decisions as to the
>       placement of these groups within the five kingdom framework.

There are no "practical decisions" about the placement of these groups
within the five kingdom framework. The only practical decisions involve
whether to treat them as zoological code or botanical code.

Curtis Clark
Biological Sciences Department             Voice: (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX: (909) 869-4078
Pomona CA 91768-4032  USA                  jcclark at

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