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Nomenclature in the dock. Overclassification leads to instability: a case study in the horticulturally important genus Cyclamen (Myrsinaceae)

Compton, J.A., Clennett, J.C.B. and Culham, A. (2004) Nomenclature in the dock. Overclassification leads to instability: a case study in the horticulturally important genus Cyclamen (Myrsinaceae). Botanical Journal of The Linnean Society, 146 (3). pp. 339-349. ISSN 0024-4074

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2004.00322.x

Abstract/Summary

Nine different classifications have been produced in the last 70 years for the horticulturally valuable genus Cyclamen, a small genus with fewer than 30 species. These classifications, generated by intuitive methods and cladistic analyses, incorporated a total of four infrageneric ranks above that of species and were based on data from morphology, cytology and DNA sequencing. Our results, based on cladistic analyses of three independent data sources − nrDNA ITS, cpDNA trnL intron and morphological data − reveal good resolution only in nrDNA sequence data. However, when these three data sources are combined they provide stronger resolution and support for three major clades, only one of which, subgenus Psilanthum, has been consistently supported in previous classifications. The differing infrageneric classifications produced in Cyclamen result from varying taxon sampling, differing interpretation of morphological data, changes in the sources and analysis of data, and inconsistent application of names. Extensive subdivision of small genera in the absence of adequate data that could provide evidence for consistent patterns of relationship is premature and leads to a proliferation of names.© 2004 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2004, 146, 339-349.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:10455
Uncontrolled Keywords:cladistics, classification, molecular systematics, phylogeny

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