Fungi and Four Kingdoms

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 7 12:02:48 CDT 1999

     Just as evolutionists and creationists need to
empathize more with each other's beliefs, I guess the same
could be said for cladists and eclecticists concerning
their "systematics" belief systems.  I certainly agree with
you that botanical "Latin" is an unnecessary pain in the
neck (my apologies to those botanists who disagree).
     However, the widespread notion among cladists that the
Linnean system cannot be modified for the efficient storage
and retrieval of cladistic (sister group) information, well
they just haven't given my system a chance.   I would hope
you would try to get The Kinman System (1994) on
interlibrary loan.  Noone takes the problems of multiplying
"ranks" more seriously that I do, but I think I have found
a good way to do this without abandoning the Linnean System
(I hate throwing the baby out with the bathwater).
     I think you might actually like part of what I have
done with the classification of higher fungi (Eumycota),
whether you regard it as phylum or kingdom.  I used the
views of a cladist (A. Tehler) and an eclecticist (Thomas
Cavalier-Smith), and used my system to meld them into a
classification that reflects both views.  It is mostly
cladistic, but with a semi-paraphyletic Class Endomycetea
(hemiascomycetes).  This class is rendered informationally
holophyletic ("monophyletic") with two cladistically-placed
markers, one for the cladistic series of ascomycete
classes, and the other for the cladistic series of
basidiomycete classes.  This may sound a little
complicated, but it isn't once you see it, and it is even
simpler if one raises Eumycota to Kingdom level---and
therefore I do not discount the possibility that I may
eventually adopt a five kingdom classification (rather than
      I will look up your paper when I get a chance, so I
can see what problems you are facing in basidiomycete
classification.  As for the botanical "Latin" thing, I can
only empathize and be glad that my interests lie more with
the evolution of bacteria and metazoans.  I named a new
monocot Order Acorales (in Class Liliopsidea) in my 1994
book, but not having the room or time to mess with a Latin
description, it is not considered botanically valid.
Doesn't bother me if someone else's name is appended to
Order Acorales---it is the recognition of the taxon that is
important.  C'est la vie.
                     --------Ken Kinman
>From: Elizabeth Frieders <frieders at UWPLATT.EDU> I do admit that I am
>unfamiliar with your proposed ideas
and should not have been so hasty to disregard them (please
note that the same should apply to you). As for my views,
they are in the development stages. If they were completely
formulated to my own satisfaction, I would have published
them already. A small glimpse at the direction I am headed
can be read in:
>Swann, Frieders and McLaughlin. 1999. Microbotryum,
Kriegeria and the changing paradigm in basidiomycete
classification. Mycologia 91: 51-66.
>(If you do look at this article, please remember that the
ranks defined in
>this paper follow the classics simply because no
alternative has been
>widely accepted, so if we didn't name the clades, someone
else would have.)
>My opinions:
>Classification should reflect phylogeny, as was its
original intent. That
>means monophyletic groups.
>Hierarchical relationships exist in nature, but the
classic ranks (especially those above genus) do not
adequately express their levels of
>complexity. There are not a certain number of preset
ranked relationships
>within each major group of organisms (whether they are
called Domains or
>Kingdoms or ...), so why should there be a preset number
of ranks? Yes, with
>supra-this and sub-that we have been able to create
additional ranks to
>accomodate the hierarchical relationships that have
developed as further
>study into groups occurs, but there are (or ought to be)
limits. It also becomes difficult to decide where the line
should be drawn -- is this a
>subclass or an order? Subgenera or different genera? And
does it really matter?  No, because we are simply giving a
group a name and defining it so
>that others have a clue. As far as I am concerned, I don't
care what the name of the clade is or if there are official
nomenclatural rules as to an
>appropriate suffix, as long as the clade is clearly
defined.  This also
>allows for changes or additions to clade relationships
without the necessity
>of formally changing the name of a clade.
>Defining the clade, especially in fungi, is becoming more
difficult if not impossible with the standard morphological
criteria: because either there
>are no uniform characters for all clade members (as is the
case in our paper above) or perhaps because the taxa
included within a clade is in flux (as
>exemplified by many groups of fungi). Therefore, in the
article mentioned
>above, we have used the definition of a clade as all
descendants of their
>most recent common ancestor (as per de Queiroz and
Gauthier's nodal definition).
>Clades should be validly published (= adequately defined,
clearly stated in
>a widely used language, supported with evidence, and in a
format that is
>accessible by most). IMO, the use of Latin is just plain
ridiculous since
>few can read or write it, so why is it still required?
>I don't have all the answers. I know that after working in
systematics for
>several years I have been confronted with a lot of
problems for which
>solutions don't exist. I also think that continuing to use
a system which
>clearly was not designed for an infinite number of ranks,
or with cladistics
>in mind, may not be the answer either, modified though it
may be.

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