[Taxacom] Paraphyletic groups as natural units of biological classification

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Oct 3 00:22:21 CDT 2014


>all that is needed is to assign taxon names only to monophyletic groups<

Nah, that doesn't work consistently in a Linnean system. For example, if you name a monophyletic subgenus, you automatically create and name the nominotypical subgenus, which may be paraphyletic. Besides, there is nothing to be gained from not formally naming paraphyletic groups, becuase they are often useful from a pragmatic point of view. So, name 'em and tag 'em is what I say!

Stephen

--------------------------------------------
On Fri, 3/10/14, Curtis Clark <lists at curtisclark.org> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Paraphyletic groups as natural units of biological classification
 To: 
 Cc: "taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
 Received: Friday, 3 October, 2014, 4:43 PM
 
 On 2014-10-02 4:00 PM, Stephen Thorpe
 wrote:
 > I think you may have possibly missed the point. If P=
 MM minus M is paraphyletic, then, in order to have a Linnean
 classification which recognises M, you also need to
 recognise P (or else elevate all the species in P to the
 same rank as M). This is the problem!
 
 You don't have to elevate any ranks. Although in times past,
 some 
 cladists insisted that the tree be recoverable from the
 classification, 
 this is impossible. As John pointed out, all that is needed
 is to assign 
 taxon names only to monophyletic groups. We can divide the
 extant 
 tetrapods into three classes, Amphibia, Mammalia, and
 Reptilia, even 
 though the latter two are closer relatives. (Not saying that
 we should, 
 but we could.)
 
 -- 
 Curtis Clark        http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark
 Biological Sciences           
        +1 909 869 4140
 Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona CA 91768
 
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