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Phylogenetic nomenclature, hierarchical information, and testability

By Syst Biol, Kevin De Queiroz and Michael J. Donoghue


In a continuing debate about the usefulness of phylogenetic nomenclature, Platnick (2012) has apparently conceded the two main points of our previous paper (de Queiroz and Donoghue 2011) by providing no counter-arguments. First, contrary to Platnick’s previous assertions, when appropriate comparisons are made (i.e., between taxonomies consisting of the same-named groups), there are no differences in information content, as measured by implied three-taxon statements, between hierarchical taxonomies whose names are governed by rank-based versus phylogenetic nomenclature. The reason is that three-taxon informativeness is a property of the clades that are recognized (the taxonomy) rather than of the rules governing their names (the nomenclatural system)

Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1093/sysbio/sys054
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