[Taxacom] Order Paracryphiales (separate order?, single family?)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Thu Apr 1 21:12:05 CDT 2010

Dear All,
      I tend to review my classification of angiosperms early each year,
and this year I see that the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group is now
recognizing an Order Paracryphiales (which they previously rejected, but
now embrace as an expanded taxon).  I am not troubled by the evidence
that such an expanded grouping should be recognized, but puzzled by how
it is being treated nomenclaturally and taxonomically.       
       If we are to recognize this new grouping (which I don't
challenge), I fail to see the utility (or even advisability) of
synonymizing both Quintiniaceae and Sphenostemonaceae within a single
expanded Family Paracryphiaceae.  Furthermore, in anticipation of
arguments that certain evidence (molecular sequences?) might support
such a move, I would then challenge them to justify why such an expanded
Family Paracryphiaceae should be placed alone in a separate,
monofamilial Order Paracryphiales, instead of as an early diverging
family at the base of Order Dipsacales.       
         If APG is so fond of lumping Orders, I would lump these two
together before I would lump some of their monstrosities (like Poales
sensu lato, and Malpighiales sensu lato).    If you want to split them
as Orders, I see no justification for then lumping all the families in
that small Order Paracryphiales into a single Family.  That just makes
the classification even more asymmetric and unbalanced, far more than
extinction has made either necessary or useful.  It's not that object to
recognizing a small outlying, Order Paracryphiales, but if you do, I
fail to see justifying lumping it into a single Family Paracryphiaceae.
Such asymmetry is fine for extremely isolated taxa (monofamilial Orders)
like Amborellales and Acorales, but is not appropriate in this case.
         ---------Ken Kinman

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