Ornithogaloideae Monograph

J.E. Shields jshields@indy.net
Tue, 14 Jun 2011 12:42:58 PDT
I've now glanced at the Martinez-Azorin paper, thanks to Pamela.  It is 
perhaps a bit complicated.

The 2004 revision wherein Manning et al. simply lumped everything into one 
genus, Ornithogalum, is something I just don't find helpful.    The 
Martinez-Azorin approach makes a serious attempt to keep the genera 
monophyletic, and it gives us more idea of the evolutionary relationships 
of these genera.  This is what a good taxonomy is supposed to do:  reflect 
the evolutionary relationships of the entities within the classification.

Manning's 2009 revision is an improvement over 2004, but still seems to me 
-- and I'm not a specialist -- to fall short.  I'm not immersed into 
Hyacinthaceae, but I like the Martinez-Azorin approach much better.

Taxonomy is part and parcel of the biological sciences, and is itself a 
science.  The  reason classifications tend to keep changing is that they 
are intended to reflect our best scientific understanding of the 
relationships of the species in the groups treated.  Our understandings 
continue to change as we learn more.  We should expect them to go on 
changing as we are better able to analyze the species concerned.  After 
all, we are not yet comparing whole genomes -- far from it, in fact.  We 
have so far looked only at a tiny fraction of the DNA sequences that make 
up the core of these species.  This is not yet the last word.

There is also nothing illegal about our continuing to use an older 
classification scheme if we are more comfortable with it.  On the other 
hand, this new attempt is a very worthy contribution to our understanding 
of the Ornithogalum and related genera, and it would be worth our while to 
become more familiar with it.

Jim Shields

At 08:22 AM 6/14/2011 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear PBS,
>If any of you wish to receive the Matinez-Azorin monograph revising 
>Ornithogaloideae, please write to me prvately and I'll be happy to send it 
>to you.
>Pamela Slate
>P.O. Box 5316
>Carefree  AZ  85377

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344

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