[Taxacom] stem eudicots of NCBI

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Tue Mar 29 09:33:12 CDT 2011

Don't send a congratulatory note to NCBI, Ken. They might think they overlooked something, and "fix" it.

One should use the word "paraphyletic" when one is discussing synchronic (present-day) nesting of exemplars. That's the phylogenetic dimension. It is inappropriate for diachronic (through-time) theory of evolution, in which case "macroevolution" or the equivalent is appropriate. IMO, anyway. 

How can a clade be truncated if it is just part of a nested set of exemplars? Where is the truncation in, say, ((((A,B)C)A)D)E,F  ? In semantics?


* * * * * * * * * * * * 
Richard H. Zander 
Missouri Botanical Garden, PO Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299 USA 
Web sites: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/ and http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/bfna/bfnamenu.htm
Modern Evolutionary Systematics Web site: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/resbot/21EvSy.htm

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman
Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 9:05 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] stem eudicots of NCBI

Dear All,
      I was looking at the classification of eudicots used at the NCBI database, and I was delighted to see that they recognize "stem eudicots", which is clearly paraphyletic.  Ooopps.  Sorry, Richard that I used the word paraphyletic.  Perhaps I should have said truncated clade (or semi-holophyletic, a synonym of semi-paraphyletic).  But that is largely a semantic "much ado about minor matters" (and certainly secondary to our shared sentiments against paraphylophobia in general).
Wouldn't you agree?            
         In any case, since NCBI is recognizing such a grouping (which is wonderful since they have eliminated so many other useful "paraphyletic" taxa), I would recommend a slight modification.  Order Gunnerales is clearly a member of the stem lineage, splitting off just before the diversification of the very large taxon now called Pentapetalae.  
        Therefore, NCBI would be well advised to put Order Gunnerales in the "stem eudicots", which would allow them to give their "core eudicots" the formal clade name "Pentapetalae".  This would make their classification even more useful and up-to-date.  As usual, I offer this advice free of charge.  With government cutbacks, perhaps they don't have the time and resources to keep up with changes that would be useful
to them and many of the users of their database.   
        ---------Ken Kinman

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