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Paraphyly and the origin and classification of angiosperms

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The recent classification of angiosperms by Chase and Reveal, based on APG III and emphasizing holophyletic concepts, results in a system of 16 coordinate superorders. Some of these contain very little diversity, such as Amborellanae or Ceratophyllanae, and others are extremely rich, such as Lilianae (monocots) or Rosanae. It is argued that the very diverse basal angiosperm group may represent ancient early lines of evolution (early evolutionary experiments) that have come from different seed fern ancestors. A reasonable approach to the classification of this mixed group is to regard them as a paraphyletic class of angiosperms (Archaeangiospermae). This allows the eudicots and monocots to be treated, as often in the past, as class Dicotyledonae and class Monocotyledonae.


Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, 1030 Vienna, Austria;, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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