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Beyond Cladistics

The Branching of a Paradigm

David M. Williams

Publication Year: 2010

Cladistics, or phylogenetic systematics—an approach to discovering, unraveling, and testing hypotheses of evolutionary history—took hold during a turbulent and acrimonious time in the history of systematics. During this period—the 1960s and 1970s—much of the foundation of modern systematic methodology was established as cladistic approaches became widely accepted. Virtually complete by the end of the 1980s, the wide perception has been that little has changed. This volume vividly illustrates that cladistic methodologies have continued to be developed, improved upon, and effectively used in ever widening analytically imaginative ways.

Published by: University of California Press

Series: Species and Systematics

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xiv

This book represents an attempt to document the nature and anticipate the future of cladistics. Inspired by the career and contributions of Chris Humphries, recently retired and now deceased botanist of the Natural History Museum (London), the breadth and depth of this one transformative career reflects decades of scientific advancement ...

Part One: On Chris

Bibliography of Works by Chris Humphries

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pp. 3-18

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1. Chris Humphries, Cladistics, and Connections

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pp. 19-34

By way of introduction, we offer this short piece describing a few subjects that attracted Chris Humphries’s attention during his thirty-plus years as botanist and systematist. While it is impossible to cover all the subjects with which Chris was involved, we have selected a few that seem representative of his breadth: ...

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2. Ontogeny and Systematics Revisited: Developmental Models and Model Organisms

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pp. 35-46

It is a distinct pleasure to be invited to contribute to this Festschrift for Chris Humphries, which provides an opportunity to reflect on how much has changed in systematic biology since the 1970s. At that time, Chris and one of us (S.B.) were research students in the Compositae systematics group established by Vernon Heywood ...

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3. Rooted in Cladistics: Chris Humphries, Conservation—and Beyond?

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pp. 47-66

The various contributions that Chris Humphries made to the biodiversity conservation movement during the early 1990s were literally and severally “rooted in cladistics”—and my purpose here is to give some flavor of that. However, I also wish to make a personal reflection on the “beyond”—the holistic approach to life— ...

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4. Do We Need to Describe, Name, and Classify All Species?

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pp. 67-76

Rutherford was more candid about his bias than most experimental biologists are in sharing their view of taxonomy (see quotation). To the outsider, taxonomy may look a bit like philately. We do want to collect every species, but the similarity stops there. Our motive is to explore unique characters and all their subsequent modifications ...

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5. Floras to Phylogenies: Why Descriptive Taxonomy Matters

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pp. 77-88

The centrality of taxonomy (or systematics; we will here use these two terms as synonymous) to the study of diversity is often taken for granted, but the decline in the discipline decline has been highlighted through various reports (House of Lords 1992, 2002, 2008) and funding initiatives ...

Part Two: Botany

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6. Island Hot Spots: The Challenge of Climate Change

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pp. 91-100

Biodiversity hot spots hold especially high numbers of endemic species, yet their combined area of remaining habitat covers only 2.3 percent of the Earth’s land surface. Each hot spot faces extreme threats and has already lost at least 70 percent of its original natural vegetation. ...

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7. Endemism and Evolution of the Macaronesian Flora

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pp. 101-124

The Macaronesian region (Fig. 7.1) comprises the volcanic oceanic archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, Salvages, Canary Islands, and Cape Verdes located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The flora of the region demonstrate many characteristics typical of oceanic archipelago floras, notably a high degree of endemism, ...

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8. Early British Collectors and Observers of the Macaronesian Flora: From Sloane to Darwin

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pp. 125-144

Although the four northern Macaronesian archipelagos of the Azores, Canaries, Salvages, and Madeira are located relatively close to the European mainland, they have many endemic species that are morphologically very different from those found on the mainland. These islands were therefore an early place of interaction ...

Part Three: Cladistics

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9. Monophyly and the Two Hierarchies

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pp. 147-168

The school of biological systematics known as cladistics is notorious for drawing a distinction between pattern and process (Nelson and Platnick 1981; Beatty 1982). The pattern is one of relative degrees of relationships, the process is one of species lineages splitting and splitting again. A cladogram potentially has two interpretations (Platnick 1977). ...

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10. Beyond Belief: The Steady Resurrection of Phenetics

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pp. 169-196

Nowadays phenetics per se is rarely taught in systematics courses, its heyday during the 1960s supposedly having come and gone. For example, botanist Richard Jensen, reviewing the Twenty-fifth Numerical Taxonomy Conference held at the University of Pittsburgh sixteen years ago, made the following comments: ...

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11. Monographic Effects on the Stratigraphic Distribution of Brachiopods

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pp. 197-218

More than 220 years of taxonomic research have resulted in the description of over five thousand different genera of Brachiopoda. The phylum is predominantly known as fossils, but over a hundred genera still live in today’s oceans. Arguably therefore, brachiopod classification is more complicated than for many phyla ...

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12. The Eukaryote Tree of Life

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pp. 219-240

By the early 1990s, it was becoming clear that the commonly used five kingdom classification schemes were oversimplified and simply inadequate for describing the major divisions of life. At this critical point in time, when morphological data from electron microscopy was beginning to be supplemented with information from DNA sequences, ...

Part Four: Biogeography

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13. Tethys and Teleosts

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pp. 243-266

The title of this volume, Beyond Cladistics, is somewhat enigmatic as it may imply preference for systematic methodologies that are outside the traditional practices of cladistics, such as maximum likelihood or Bayesian analysis. It may also imply that there are deep methodological issues within the cladistic realm that remain to be resolved, ...

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14. East–West Continental Vicariance in Eucalyptus Subgenus Eucalyptus

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pp. 267-302

The eucalypt group (Myrtaceae) totals seven genera, including small rain forest genera, and species-rich sclerophyll genera that dominate Australian vegetation (Ladiges et al. 2003). Living taxa occur throughout Australia but extend to New Caledonia, New Guinea, and Malesia (to the southern Philippines; Williams and Brooker 1997). ...

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15. Wallacea Deconstructed

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pp. 303-318

A triangular-shaped area in the middle of the Indo-Australian Archipelago was delimited by Roy Ernest Dickerson and colleagues (1928) in a collaborative volume on the distribution of plants and animals of the Philippine Archipelago: “We might compare Wallacea to a narrow-based, elongated triangle lying between Sundaland and Papualand, ...


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pp. 319-330

About the Editors

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pp. 331-332

Species and Systematics, Production Notes

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pp. 348-349

E-ISBN-13: 9780520947993
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520267725

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Species and Systematics