[Taxacom] Paraphyletic species and paraphyletic higher taxa
SmissenR at landcareresearch.co.nz
Tue Dec 14 02:31:05 CST 2010
In response to Richard Zander, Curtis Clark wrote:
An evolutionary cladist would say "Species are the smallest units of
phylogeny, and anybody who thinks paraphyletic species justify
paraphyletic higher taxa is a dogmatist."
I'm not sure if Curtis is an evolutionary cladist or not, but if so he and Willi Hennig are both wrong - sometimes the smallest units of phylogeny are higher taxa than species. The extent of tokogeny is considerable... at least among the daisies (the largest family of flowering plants, don't believe a word they say about orchids). Taxa with hybrid origins may not in themselves be a problem, but if their ancestors don't go extinct they leave one hell of a mess.
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