Message 2001-06-0034: Re: Subscribers

Mon, 30 Apr 2001 20:06:08 -0400 (EDT)

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Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 20:06:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: "T. Mike Keesey" <>
To: -PhyloCode Mailing List- <>
Subject: Re: Subscribers

On Mon, 30 Apr 2001, Scott Redhead wrote:

> As some know, I wrote a commentary on the PhyloCode pointing out how
> ridiculous it was to eliminate species

PhyloCode doesn't eliminate species....

> Recently I was impressed by the paper *Disintegration of the
> Scrophulariaceae* by Olmstead, DePamphilis, Wolke, Young, Elisons &
> Reeves (Amer. J. Bot. 88: 348-361. 2001). What struck me as
> imaginative was the melding of *PhyloCode* thinking with the
> International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Some of the ideas behind
> the PhyloCode are quite good, but there seems to be no reason to have
> another Code. Olmstead created the *new* family, Calceolariaceae (G.
> Don) Raf. ex Olmstead, fam. et stat. nov. in a very traditional
> manner, citing a basionym, Calceolarieae G. Don, fulfilling all
> requirements for the ICBN.  However, they defined the taxon as
> follows, *Calceolariceae are the least inclusive clade that contains
> Calceolaria pinata, Porodittia triandra, and Jovellana violacea.*
> There was of course, a fuller discussion of characters.

Discrepancies can arise between PhyloCode and the ICBN, though. Suppose
Someone names families for the genera _Alpha_, _Beta_, and _Gamma_. They
fulfill ICBN requirements *and* provide stem-based cladistic definition
for _Alphaceae_ (_Alpha_ <-- _Beta_, _Gamma_), _Betaceae_ (_Beta_ <--
_Alpha_, _Gamma_), and _Gammaceae_ (_Gamma_ <-- _Alpha_, _Beta_).

Then suppose a traditionalist discovers a new genus, _Delta_, for which
they name a new family, _Deltaceae_, in accordance with ICBN rules.
Suppose _Delta_ is within Clade _Alphaceae_. According to PhyloCode rules,
_Delta_ will be an alphacean, but under the ICBN, it will be a deltacean!
And, if _Deltaceae_ is ever cladistically defined, _Delta_ will belong to
both clades, which is absolutely impossible under traditional taxonomy,
since they are of the same rank.

Furthermore, I don't know about the other codes, but the ICZN doesn't
cover suprafamilial taxa *at all*, so there is a real need for some kind
of code in this area.

I agree that until PhyloCode goes into effect things should probably be
done, as much as possible, in accord with the current codes.

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