States and traits

Matt Buys BuysMH at PUKNET.PUK.AC.ZA
Tue Nov 4 10:23:27 CST 2003

Hi all.

I posed the question whether there's a difference between states and
traits in an attempt to speedily clarify what I heard at a cladistics
course in Cape Town earlier in the year. Since I have not read anything
that sounds similar in the thread, I have subsequently contacted the
speaker and obtained the reference.

Nixon, K. C. & Wheeler, Q. D. 1990. An amplification of the
phylogenetic species concept. Cladistcs 6: 211-223 state that all
inherited attributes of organisms are either traits or characters.
Attributes that are not universally distributed among comparable
individuals in a terminal lineage, clade or population are known as
traits and those that are found in all comparable individuals are known
as states.



It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one

begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit
Sherlock Holmes

Dr. Matt H. Buys
A.P. Goossens Herbarium
Skool vir Omgewingswetenskappe en -ontwikkeling
Potchefstroomse Universiteit
Privaatsak X6001
Potchefstroom 2520

Tel: 018 2992507
Faks: 018 2992503


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