Ecology and Systematics

Susanne Schulmeister susanne71_2000 at YAHOO.DE
Wed Feb 13 11:07:45 CST 2002

> stimulated me to think of a possible name for something I think is
> missing but needed closer to our area.  This is the "Society for the
Use of
> Ecology
> in Systematics" or even "Group for the Use of Ecology in Cladistics"
> or "in
> Taxonomy".  Does this resonate with anyone?  Does such an
> organization exist already?

> I recall recently there was a post lamenting the absence of "place"
> in systematics; I agreed mentally that this could be an important
> input.  I
> have also felt for a long time that environmental factors, including
> historical ones when inferences can be made about them, also should
> be routinely considered in interpreting taxonomic data.

Well, ecological data are usually not included in cladistic data
matrices because the ecology of a species directly influences its
habitus and so including the ecological data to a morphological data
matrix would obviously lead to non-independent characters and would
give unjustified weight to characters which evolve dependently and very
likely quite homoplastic. And the coding of non-independent characters
should be avoided if possible.
But other than that, nobody hinders you to put ecological characters in
your data matrices (except maybe the reviewers and the editors).
If you are suggesting to make a cladogram exclusively with ecological
characters - that's not a good idea.

What you can do is use a cladogram derived from morphological and / or
molecular characters and map ecological characters on it to see how the
ecological needs of a group of species evolved. This is done, as far as
I know, in the interdisciplinary branch of biology called EVOLUTIONARY

Journal: Evolutionary Ecology Research - A professional scientific
journal focusing on the overlap between ecology and evolution

Journal: Evolutionary Ecology - The leading international journal for
all aspects of evolutionary ecology




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