new "coded" classifications (clarifications)

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 13 09:50:03 CST 1999

     Sorry my example got scrabbled----I didn't allow for computer
"wrap-around".  Will try another example below.
      But first to answer Tom's questions.  A simple "pectinate"
cladistic classification, 1(2(3(4))), one would simply number from 1 to
      If 2 and 3 split off as a branch and are sister groups, the coding
would be 1, 2, B, 3.  The subsidary branch coded by capital letters (and
could be continued as C, D, E..., for a longer subsidary branch.
     3  Proteobacteracea
          1  Campylobacterales
          B  Desulfovibriales
          C  Bdellovibriales
          D  Myxobacteriales
          2  Rhodospirallales
          B  Ricketsiales
          C  Caulobacterales
          D  Rhizobiales
          3  Nitrobacterales
          B  Neisseriales
          4  Methylomonadales
          5  Enterobacteriales
          &  [[protomitochondria]]
     4  Planctobacteracea
          1  Chlamydiales
          2  Planctomycetales
    I really abbreviated this example from my book, so wrap-around
should be no problem (I hope).  The ampersand (&) is a symbol I rarely
use, indicating that it's exact relationship is not known with
certainty.  Protomitochondria probably were related to Rhodospirillales
or Rickettsiales (this kind of information can be annotated until a
clear coding can be determined).  Anyway, the code allows for series
within series..., and for more complicated coding as well.  But the more
complicated the coding becomes, the more likely your classification has
taxonomic structural changes that need addressing (and this is
expecially true for paraphyletic coding).  The coding not only stores
information, but makes it clear if your classification has problems that
need to be addressed.
     No real paraphyletic symbols in the above example, which would be
underlined lower case letters or the powerful underlined 1----the latter
being used to interrupt cladistic sequences and begin a new one within a
series of taxa (such as Class Agnathea paraphyletically giving rise to a
cladistic series of higher fish classes).
     The coding sounds a bit cumbersome at first, but it works well once
you see it in action. That's why I introduced it using a new
classification of organisms in my 1994 book.  The advantages are many,
but they have to sort of grow on you.  Gotta run.  Hope this helps some.
                          Cheers, Ken Kinman

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