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Patrocladistics, nothing new

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Patrocladograms that are logically inconsistent with phylogenetic tree hypotheses cannot be used to circumscribe monophyletic ("holophyletic") groups. Patrocladograms are graphs that assert hypotheses of similarity. Phylogenetic trees are graphs that assert hypotheses of common (or unique) ancestry. Monophyly is a concept derived from ancestry, not similarity. Further, patrocladograms that are logically inconsistent with phylogenetic trees also distort interpretations of character evolution, rendering characters homoplastic on patrocladograms that appear homologous on phylogenetic trees. "Patrocladistics" is simply another variety of evolutionary taxonomy that generates paraphyletic groups, resulting in classifications that are logically inconsistent with the phylogenies on which they are supposedly based. Contrary to the conclusions of Stuessy & K├Ânig (2008), if one wishes to maintain a logically consistent system relevant to the evolutionary paradigm, there is every reason to constrain classification by branching structure of well-corroborated phylogenetic trees in a cladistic context.


Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Biodiversity Research Center and Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas 66045, U.S.A.

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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