The nature of cladistics [was: Whooper; Canadian geese split; paraphyly]

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at UWOSH.EDU
Thu Nov 18 10:51:21 CST 2004

At 10:16 AM 11/18/2004, Curtis Clark wrote:
>My other post makes it clearer, but basically the idea is this.
>Phylogenies are built of species. As one approaches the species level,
>the tools of phylogenetic reconstruction become less and less useful,
>until at some point "you're not in phylogeny any more".

Well, that's pretty much my original point!  Cladistic methods at those
levels seem inappropriate BECAUSE they are divorced from the reality they
purport to reflect.  When someone can construct an algorithm to accommodate
that, it will be a major breakthrough.

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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