Traits and/or states

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Fri Oct 31 07:40:46 CST 2003

At 04:15 PM 10/31/03 +1100, Don.Colless at CSIRO.AU wrote:
>A state is a state of a character (sensu mihi): e.g., "red" is a state
>of the character "eye colour". A trait, insofar as it has any formal
>meaning in taxonomy, would mean to me what I call an "attribute"; e.g.,
>"has red eyes".

In other words, "trait" / "attribute" = character + its state?
I hadn't thought of it that way; I thought of it as a ~synonym of "character."

I think this whole discussion hinges on what exactly the original poster
meant by "trait."  As you point out, there *is* no formal definition of
"trait" in taxonomy.  Perhaps the original poster could clarify the
question a bit?

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and biogeography
of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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