[Taxacom] cyperaceae

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at mobot.org
Thu Sep 6 09:27:19 CDT 2007

Lumping and splitting will always be with us, I fear, whatever one's  
classificatory philosophy.  To quote Davis and Heywood:

"Short of the death penalty, there will always be lumpers and  
splitters. Splitting tends to be accentuated by age, a characters of  
the malaise being that the sufferer seldom admits that he is a  
splitter." (there is much more of interest on the subject (see p. 85  
of "Principles of Angiosperm Taxonomy").


On Sep 5, 2007, at 10:25 AM, Ken Kinman wrote:

> Nige,
>     Actually the range is wider than that.  Peter Stevens' website  
> (Angiosperm Phylogeny Website) lists only 98 genera for  
> Cyperaceae.  I suppose some of the larger numbers could possibly be  
> lists that include extinct genera, but I doubt that is the case is  
> here.
>      More likely it is just lumping versus splitting.  At family  
> level, some workers might include (lump) the closely related  
> Juncaceae in Cyperaceae, or perhaps even Thurniaceae as well.  This  
> would be similar to some zoologists lumping parts of (or even all  
> of) Pongidae into Family Hominidae.
>      But the most likely cause of the range in numbers of genera is  
> various lumping or splitting of the genera themselves.  The low  
> number of 98 on the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website is not  
> surprising.  If a strict cladist finds that a genus is  
> paraphyletic, they will often combine (lump) it with the daughter  
> (exgroup) genus.  If the exgroup genus is morphologically distinct,  
> other workers will continue to regard it as separate genus.  But  
> strict cladists don't always lump, and will instead split up a  
> paraphyletic mother genus.  With all these varied philosophies of  
> how inclusive or exclusive a given genus should be, it is not  
> surprising that various workers get different numbers of genera in  
> a large family.
>    ------Cheers,
>             Ken Kinman
> ********************************
>> From: blackstock8 at aol.com
>> To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>> Subject: [Taxacom] cyperaceae
>> Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2007 06:49:51 -0400
>> Many thanks for the replies re: the number of genera in the  
>> Cyperaceae.? It would seem that there are between 104 - 122.? How  
>> do we account for the difference in numbers?
>> I am particularly interested in the ref Thorne & Reveal (Botanical  
>> Review 73:67-182. 2007).? Unfortunately I can't get easy access to  
>> this paper.? Does anyone have a copy of the abstract?
>> Cheers
>> Nige
>> _____________________________________________________________________ 
>> ___
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