[Taxacom] Family Lacistemataceae

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sat Jan 10 21:28:34 CST 2009

Dear All,
      Some other members of the list have been encouraging me to return
to TAXACOM, so I'm now returning (at least for a while).  I had been
tempted to return by various threads during 2008, but it was the recent
discussion on Lacistemataceae that has finally pulled me back in.         
      As you may remember, here on Taxacom, I split up APG's huge Order
Malpighiales into several different (more traditional) orders back in
2004.  I included Family Lacistemataceae within Order Violales
(including Salicaceae, Scyphostegiaceae. etc.).        
      Anyway, to answer John Grehan's question, the sister group of
Family Lacistemataceae seems to lie with an uncertain conglomeration of
families that some call a broad Family Salicaceae sensu lato (some
workers having included Family Scyphostegiaceae and/or Samydaceae within
a broad Family Salicaceae).   Whether this conglomeration is
holophyletic (strictly monophyletic) remains to be seen.       
      The real question in my mind is whether Family Lacistemataceae is
a sister group to this broad Family Salicaceae, or a sister group of
some subgroup with in it.  The molecular analysis of Chase et al.
(2002), as I recall, did not really help much in settling this problem.
It still remains to be seen if Lacistemataceae is a sister group of this
very broad Family Salicaceae (sensu lato) or some subgroup within it.                                      
       Either way, I see no reason to remove Family Lacistemataceae from
Order Violales.  It is of course obvious to most workers that Order
Violales (and thus Lacistemataceae) belongs in the "Superorder"
Malpighiales (the bloated "Order" Malpighiales of the Angiosperm
Phylogeny Group), but that doesn't real tell us much.  It would be far
more productive if such discussions dealt with the more traditional
subunits of the bloated "Superorder Malpighiales".  Lumping them into a
single huge Order Malpighiales just swept the problems under a huge
taxonomic rug.  
                        Ken Kinman    

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