peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG
Fri Mar 8 15:55:59 CST 2002
I am not sure what evidence suggests that eudicots are not a clade,
and they make sense morphologically. However, if the hypothesis
breaks down, it breaks down. I teach families one or twice a year,
and have for some time now, and all I can say is that I see a
continuous improvement in our understanding of relationships and also
the match - and sometimes lack of - between morphology and molecules.
Not to say that everything is clear, but compared to where we were
when I was taught, we have made immense progress.
We should quit complaining (not intended personally, but that is what
much of this discussion sounds like), and go out and get the data
that will bear on the relationships we cherish/abhor. Obviously,
data are not always unambiguous, but I am impressed how many time I
can go to the herbarium or to the Climatron, get a plant whose
relationships are in question, and find the characters that help
clinch the deal. And, interestingly enough, these characters can be
quite easy to see (e.g. nodal anatomy; hair morphology) but nobody
has ever looked at them. I think if we spent half the time we spend
worrying about nomenclature - and I am not talking about the
Phylocode alone - actually going out and making careful, documented
observations, we might get somewhere.
>Ken Kinman wrote:
>> The clade "eudicots" is an excellent example of how most such clades
>> *should* be named--- informally. This indeed does work very well. I
>> recognized the "eudicot" clade in my 1994 classification.
>Last August, at the Botany 2001 meetings in Albuquerque, Kevin Nixon, in a
>wonderfully presented critique of Phylocode, demonstrated that the so-called
>"eudicots" are based on a smattering of evidence that almost
>assuredly will not
>survive more careful scrutiny. I don't have all the details, but one of his
>points was that such ephemeral taxa are one excellent reason for not adopting
>Perhaps some out there have a better recollection than I of what Kevin said.
>Richard J. Jensen TEL: 219-284-4674
>Department of Biology FAX: 219-284-4716
>Saint Mary's College E-mail: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
>Notre Dame, IN 46556 http://www.saintmarys.edu/~rjensen
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