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A phylogenetic solution to the Acacia problem

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Acacia has a complicated taxonomic history including a recent controversial retypification. We suggest that the entire recent Acacia debate is due to inadequacies of the International Code of Nomenclature (ICN), particularly that it requires that all taxa be classified in ranks. The ICN system was not designed for phylogenetic classification and the Acacia nomenclatural fallout reflects this shortfall. We recommend an alternate phylogenetic classification based on the PhyloCode. We propose the name Acacia for the most inclusive clade including the non-monophyletic ICN-based genus Acacia s.l., thereby retaining the name Acacia for use on all descendant lineages including Mimosa and Ingeae. Additionally we provide PhyloCode-based names for five monophyletic lineages of genus Acacia s.l. but not for a sixth until additional information is available. This rankless phylogenetic classification system provides an elegant solution to the Acacia controversy and provides stable, relevant information about this branch of the tree of life.
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Keywords: ACACIA; AND PLANTS; AUSTROACACIA; FUNGI; INTERNATIONAL CODE OF NOMENCLATURE FOR ALGAE; PHYLOCODE; VACHELLIA

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600 Canberra, ACT 2601 Australia;, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801, U.S.A. 3: University and Jepson Herbaria, and Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building #2465, Berkeley, California 94720-2465, U.S.A.

Publication date: 30 June 2014

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