[Taxacom] On genera

Richard Zander Richard.Zander at mobot.org
Mon Jul 15 10:43:25 CDT 2013


Okay, that's two of you who assume a genus concept as I proposed would result in a mass of monotypic genera. Why? Is it because you maybe think that a genus (or species) concept must apply to all genera (or species) across the board as impressed on nature by human will and our need to categorize along absolute lines? Or maybe you don't but you expect others will. I don't think so little of others.

 

I think nature teaches us (if we will but learn) why genera are cohesive, or at least coherent, and that we will find that different genera are coherent for different reasons, different evolutionary processes. 

 

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

From: Raymond Hoser - The Snakeman [mailto:viper007 at live.com.au] 
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2013 5:32 PM
To: Stephen Thorpe; Richard Zander; JF Mate; Taxacom
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] On genera

 

 I was thinking the same thing (see below)
 
> >A genus may be defined, at least for some taxa, as a set of closely related species that evolves as a group<
>  
> Sounds like a recipe for multitudes of monotypic genera!!

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> Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2013 13:40:54 -0700
> From: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
> To: Richard.Zander at mobot.org; aphodiinaemate at gmail.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] On genera
> 
> >A genus may be defined, at least for some taxa, as a set of closely related species that evolves as a group<
>  
> Sounds like a recipe for multitudes of monotypic genera!!
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: Richard Zander <Richard.Zander at mobot.org>
> To: JF Mate <aphodiinaemate at gmail.com>; Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> 
> Sent: Monday, 15 July 2013 8:19 AM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] On genera
> 
> 
> 
> Yes, "Others may disagree."
> 
> A genus may be defined, at least for some taxa, as a set of closely related species that evolves as a group. Perhaps they all seem move in response to environmental change (say, all the cold-climate species die out, which changes the circumscription of the genus). Or perhaps one ancestral species gave rise to many specialized species. One CAN make good hypotheses based on data that may be non-phylogenetically informative.
> 
> These less than exact definitions should be considered because cladistics cannot determine monophyly since no ancestral nodes are named. Phylogenetic monophyly then is done by definition, not by empirical inference; that is, every clade is monophyletic, period. 
> 
> What drives people to accept this nonsense? 
> 
> 
>  
> 
> ____________________________
> 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
> UPS and FedExpr -  MBG, 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis 63110 USA
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of JF Mate
> Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 9:22 PM
> To: Taxacom
> Subject: [Taxacom] On genera
> 
> ... what is a genus? I would say that divergence times are irrelevant. My
> own view is that a genus is just a convenient monophyletic grouping of
> species, i.e. not too big, not too small, and easily recognisable. Others
> may disagree ...
> 
> I would strongly agree that it is a taxonomic convenience so we can
> communicate better and break down biodiversity for our understanding. I
> would disagree with the need for monophyly though, and rather push for
> non-polyphyletic genera, at least until taxonomists show some restraint
> naming genera, or at least an equal enthusiasm for synonymizing them.
> Otherwise simplicity and ease of use will be jeopardised in the name of
> phylogenetic correctnes. As a final note, when we talk about easily
> recognisable, maybe it should be stressed that it is for the non-specialist
> (in the particular group that is).
> 
> My two cents
> 
> Jason
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