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PhyloCode - pain, no gain

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Abstract:

The PhyloCode suggests that by adopting its rules, taxonomists will gain clarity, uniqueness and stability compared with the use of Linnaean Taxonomy. This claim is questioned here by suggesting (1) that replacing the Types of Linnaean Taxonomy with the Specifiers of PhyloCode increases the complexity of decisions which have to be made, some of which go beyond nomenclature; (2) deciding which PhyloCode definition of a name to use demands knowledge of phylogenetic support and likelihood of future changes in ideas of relationships; (3) Phylogenetic Nomenclature will have limited value because it names only monophyletic groups, and (4) confusion over naming taxa is not avoided by the PhyloCode and can lead to problems when used alongside Linnaean Taxonomy. The problems concerning Linnaean rank and raised by Phylogenetic Nomenclature are upheld.

Keywords: LINNAEAN TAXONOMY; PHYLOCODE; PHYLOGENETIC NOMENCLATURE; SPECIFIERS; TAXONOMIC RANK; TYPES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, England

Publication date: 2002-02-01

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