[Taxacom] Grass taxonomy

Mary Barkworth Mary.Barkworth at usu.edu
Tue Aug 7 11:42:45 CDT 2012

Ken, thank you for the reference. There are strong arguments for placing Festuca arundinacea in Lolium, including micromorphology and natural hybridization BUT
a) There are several species in the Festuca arundinacea group that need to be evaluated; I think that the limits of the group probably need to be clarified; Torricella and Catalan (Systematic Botany 27(2):241-251. 2002; http://dx.doi.org/10.1043/0363-6445-27.2.241)  found two subclades within the Schedonorus clade (which they include in Festuca).
b) In 2005, several people strongly objected to expanding Lolium to include grasses with a panicle. The answer adopted by many was to recognize Schedonorus. It was the compromise that I went along with ni the Flora of North America. 
c) Chloroplast sequences are lovely - and what a great exercise for students (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21622366) but nuclear DNA does have some bearing on phylogeny, often messing up the tidy picture we obtain from chloroplasts - but evolution is messy.

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