[Taxacom] genus Primula: trim it? or bloat it further?
kinman at hotmail.com
Thu May 18 21:49:17 CDT 2006
In an effort to cladify the genus Primula, some seem to prefer that it
gobble up even more genera of Family Primulaceae. Wouldn't it make more
sense to cladify the already large genus Primula by trimming off two of its
oddball subgenera (rather than forcing in two more oddball genera)?
Instead of gobbling up Dodecatheon and Cortusa, simply take the related
(and oddball) subgenera Auriculastrum and Auganthus out of Primula. Either
way you are going to have some name changes, but at least the second
alternative will leave us with a more homogenous Primula (rather than making
it even more heterogeneous). It makes scientific sense, and the flower
breeders already make a distinction between auriculas and primulas anyway.
And finally it avoids the possibility that Primula could gobble up even
more genera if recent molecular phylogenies are not totally accurate (making
Primula even more of a taxonomic black hole). So once again I applaud FNA
for retaining Dodecatheon as a full genus (as opposed to a mere section
within a subgenus of Primula). I am generally a lumper, but when lumping
creates such an unbalanced classification, even I will advocate cladistic
splitting (relatively speaking) as the preferable alternative.
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