David Orlovich david.orlovich at BOTANY.OTAGO.AC.NZ
Thu Sep 16 08:59:49 CDT 2004

I guess if the terminal taxa were say, families, then autapomorphies
for each terminal taxon could be a synaopmorphy for members of that
family if they were themselves included as OTUs on another tree.


On 16/09/2004, at 8:42 AM, Vernie Sagun wrote:

> Dear Taxacomers,
> I would like to ask about the term "autapomorphy", as I
> understand this is a character state present in a taxon that
> is not present in other taxa and is therefore
> phylogenetically uniformative.  Autapomorphies are very
> useful in creating keys and not useful in resolving
> phylogeny.  But I have heard other views that say this is a
> relative term, that clades could have a character state that
> is "autapomorphic" for that clade, in the case of broader
> (highly speciose or in ordinal level) phylogenies.  I believe
> this is a misuse of the term since that "autapomorphic"
> character state for that clade, is more appropriate to be
> called a "synapomorphy".  The term autapomorphy can never be
> realtive.  Can you help me clarify this?
> Many thanks,
> Vernie Sagun
> *******************************
> Center for Biodiversity
> Illinois Natural History Survey
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> email: sagun at
> *******************************
Dr David Orlovich,
Senior Lecturer in Botany.

Department of Botany,
University of Otago,
P.O. Box 56,
(Courier: 464 Great King Street)
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