Beyond Cladistics

Beyond Cladistics: The Branching of a Paradigm

David M. Williams
Sandra Knapp
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Pages: 352
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pp5d5
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  • Book Info
    Beyond Cladistics
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94799-3
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    David M. Williams and Sandra Knapp
  5. PART ONE ON CHRIS
    • BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS BY CHRIS HUMPHRIES Divided by Category and Ordered Chronologically
      (pp. 3-18)
    • ONE CHRIS HUMPHRIES, CLADISTICS, AND CONNECTIONS
      (pp. 19-34)
      David M. Williams, Kåre Bremer and Sandra Knapp

      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: botanical cladistics, cladistics and daisies, and biogeographic cladistics (the conservation studies are ably summarized by Vane-Wright; see Chapter 3, this volume).

      Chris joined the Department of Botany of the Natural History Museum in 1972 replacing Alexsandr Melderis (1909–1986), then head of the European Herbarium, “whose substantial frame belied...

    • TWO ONTOGENY AND SYSTEMATICS REVISITED: DEVELOPMENTAL MODELS AND MODEL ORGANISMS
      (pp. 35-46)
      Stephen Blackmore and Alexandra H. Wortley

      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 in the Botany Department at the University of Reading.

      The extraordinary level of subsequent progress can well be illustrated by comparing the current state of Compositae systematics with that prevailing in 1975 during the major international symposium at Reading University (Heywood et al. 1977). Those symposium...

    • THREE ROOTED IN CLADISTICS: Chris Humphries, Conservation—and Beyond?
      (pp. 47-66)
      Richard I. Vane-Wright

      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—something already identifiable as “the interrelating entirety of the living world” in the first published comments that Chris ever made on the general issue of conservation (Humphries 1974, quotation above).

      Soon after finishing his PhD, Chris arrived in the Botany Department of the Natural History Museum, London. In that...

    • FOUR DO WE NEED TO DESCRIBE, NAME, AND CLASSIFY ALL SPECIES?
      (pp. 67-76)
      Quentin D. Wheeler

      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 through evolutionary history (Platnick 1979), to determine what they mean in terms of species, relative recency of common ancestry among species, and as the basis for informative and predictive classifications. This is achieved through painstaking comparative studies and analyses of patterns of distributions of characters and...

    • FIVE FLORAS TO PHYLOGENIES: Why Descriptive Taxonomy Matters
      (pp. 77-88)
      Sandra Knapp and J. Robert Press

      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 (such as the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy [PEET]—see Rodman and Cody 2003; and the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory Program [PBI]—see Wheeler 2004, Page 2008; the UK’s BBSRC Co-Syst program—see http://www.linnean. org/co-syst). The field of taxonomy appears to be entering a time of unprecedented change and...

  6. PART TWO BOTANY
    • SIX ISLAND HOT SPOTS: The Challenge of Climate Change
      (pp. 91-100)
      David Bramwell

      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. Over 50 percent of the world’s plant species and 42 percent of all terrestrial vertebrate species are endemic to the thirty-four biodiversity hot spots (Conservation International Web site 2008).

      Islands are of particular importance in a biodiversity conservation context as they cover about 5 percent of the Earth’s land surface but have more than 35...

    • SEVEN ENDEMISM AND EVOLUTION OF THE MACARONESIAN FLORA
      (pp. 101-124)
      Mark A. Carine, Arnoldo Santos-Guerra, I. Rosana Guma and J. Alfredo Reyes-Betancort

      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, several spectacular examples of evolutionary radiations, and a distinctive growth form spectrum in the endemic flora with a much higher proportion of woody and succulent taxa than in the near-continent flora (e.g., Shmida and Werger 1992).Argyranthemum(Compositae), the subject of Chris Humphries’s doctoral research (see Humphries 1973, 1975, 1976a, 1976b) provides an excellent example...

    • EIGHT EARLY BRITISH COLLECTORS AND OBSERVERS OF THE MACARONESIAN FLORA: From Sloane to Darwin
      (pp. 125-144)
      Javier Francisco-Ortega, Arnoldo Santos-Guerra, Charlie E. Jarvis, Mark A. Carine, Miguel Menezes de Sequeira and Mike Maunder

      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 between European botanists and a spectacular flora characterized by high levels of endemism. European botanists found in these islands an “exotic” flora that was convenient to visit as part of larger scale Atlantic explorations and one that could be studied directly without major logistical investments.

      It is, therefore, not surprising that the unique flora...

  7. PART THREE CLADISTICS
    • NINE MONOPHYLY AND THE TWO HIERARCHIES
      (pp. 147-168)
      Olivier Rieppel

      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). If the nodes in the cladogram are taken to be speciation events, and the internodes to be stem species, then the cladogram is isomorphic with a phylogenetic tree. If the cladogram is taken to represent a hierarchy of relative degrees of relationships that can also be represented in...

    • TEN BEYOND BELIEF: The Steady Resurrection of Phenetics
      (pp. 169-196)
      David M. Williams, Malte C. Ebach and Quentin D. Wheeler

      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:

      This anniversary meeting allowed reflection on the impact that numerical taxonomy has had on systematics and comparative biology. Although few would agree with Herbert Ross’s opinion that “numerical taxonomy is an excursion in futility,” it is clear that its role in systematics has not evolved as proponents projected: The methods are rarely used as the foundations...

    • ELEVEN MONOGRAPHIC EFFECTS ON THE STRATIGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF BRACHIOPODS
      (pp. 197-218)
      Gordon B. Curry

      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 because it has to cope not just with the intricacies of taxonomic practice as applied to extant organisms but also with the additional problems of studying organisms that are distributed over hundreds of millions of years of Earth history and are at best partially preserved.

      Yet it is the fact that the...

    • TWELVE THE EUKARYOTE TREE OF LIFE
      (pp. 219-240)
      Diana Lipscomb

      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, Chris Humphries organized a Linnean Society conference entitled “Modern Views of Kingdoms and Domains” in the spring of 1994 to discuss the new, emerging picture of eukaryotic relationships. The aim of this chapter is to review the general history of the debate over the eukaryote tree of life and describe...

  8. PART FOUR BIOGEOGRAPHY
    • THIRTEEN TETHYS AND TELEOSTS
      (pp. 243-266)
      Peter L. Forey

      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, and this may be true since cladistics is an evolving discipline, and other contributors may well take up some of these. But, as a palaeontologist, I prefer to live in the past and believe that cladistics in its current form is alive and well. For the purposes of...

    • FOURTEEN EAST–WEST CONTINENTAL VICARIANCE IN EUCALYPTUS SUBGENUS EUCALYPTUS
      (pp. 267-302)
      Pauline Y. Ladiges, Michael J. Bayly and Gareth J. Nelson

      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). Macrofossils of eucalypts extend this range to South America (Early Eocene; Gandolfo et al. 2007) and New Zealand (Early Miocene; Pole 1989, 1993).

      The largest of the seven genera in the eucalypt group isEucalyptusL’Hér. with about six hundred species, although Brooker (2000) includes additional species having lumped two of the other genera,...

    • FIFTEEN WALLACEA DECONSTRUCTED
      (pp. 303-318)
      Lynne R. Parenti and Malte C. Ebach

      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, the Lesser Sunda Islands and Timor forming its base, Luzon forming its apex” (Dickerson et al. 1928: 302). The theoretical triangle, which we approximate on the Dickerson et al. (1928) map (Fig. 15.1), encompassed the Philippines (minus Palawan and associated smaller islands), Sulawesi (formerly the Celebes) and associated islands, and the Lesser...

  9. Index
    (pp. 319-330)
  10. About the Editors
    (pp. 331-332)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 333-334)