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re: taxonomy for those interested..Fw:.[aroid-l] Typhoniums linked

  • To: gardenchat@hort.net
  • Subject: [CHAT] re: taxonomy for those interested..Fw:.[aroid-l] Typhoniums linked
  • From: "Marge Talt" mtalt@hort.net
  • Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2003 03:00:49 -0500

In re: the taxonomy issues...just found this exchange on Aroid-L that
might be of interest.  Wilbert is a taxonomist (aroid expert).  He is
replying to a post (located at the end of his reply) on a thread
about changing a plant name...the original post was a good one,
too:-)

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net

----------
> From: Wilbert Hetterscheid <hetter@worldonline.nl>
> To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
> Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Typhoniums linked
> Date: Saturday, February 08, 2003 3:48 AM
> 
> Oh Good Ran(d/t) of Canada,
> 
> Your well-prosed reply concerning the names of the beasts has
struck me
> deep. I resign as taxonomist. I surrender myself to the Law of the
Labels,
> The Scepsis of the Sellers and the Protests of the Public. I am
doomed,
> trodden, trampled, trashed and whatnot. Until I will resurface from
the soil
> where I will look for Times Eternal to Elysean Fields of tubers of
> Sauromatum, once thought to be Typhonium, I greet you.
> 
> O.k., so much for my alter ego. Now it's my turn.
> 
> Of course you are right (you are?). Name changes also can cause
stirs,
> especially in plant groups that are economically important. Of
course, names
> for a minor, insignificant group of people who like such afwul
creatures as
> aroids and are joined in an insignificant clubette called the IAS,
are not
> worth considering by taxonomists at large.....
> 
> Wait, this is not the beginning of a proper answer.......this is
too soft.
> 
> No, serious, name changes are good and bad. Good is that they do
indeed
> (SHOULD indeed) reflect progression in taxonomic thought. These
days
> taxonomists are by and large of the opinion that names should
reflect
> evolutionary relationships as that is the great adagium most
biologists work
> with, despite the fact that there are areas in the world (even in
the
> western one) prohibiting (the children of) their inhabitants to
think that
> evolution is happening.
> 
> As it turns out, Peter and I thought it more than logical on
morphological
> grounds that the species of Sauromatum are in fact nested WITHIN
Typhonium.
> Hell, Sauromatum brevipes WAS originally introduced as Typhonium
brevipes,
> people!!!! In such a hypothesized situation, keeping the three
species out
> of this realm by naming them Sauromatum, is misleading. We ran a
few
> analyses of the morphological data in relation to those of species
of nearby
> genera and behold, the Sauromatum species always turned out to
become nested
> IN Typhonium. In such a case, naming them Typhonium, clearly
denotes that
> evolutionary relation. So in our eyes the name ought to be
Typhonium, given
> that we are correct in our hypothesis of relationships between the
species
> examined. Such hypotheses, based on morphology alone, are nowadays
> challenged by data from DNA. In the case of Typhonium, Susanne
Renner's
> analyses seem to indicate that Typhonium may NOT be an evolutionary
group to
> begin with and so Peter and mine analysis of Sauromatum + Typhonium
may have
> been started out on the wrong foot. The wrong Typhonium, to be
precise. So,
> in the end the new analyses may show that Typhonium + Sauromatum =
Typhonium
> sensu Hetterscheid & Boyce is the wrong equation and other genera
should be
> included or parts of genera should be excluded.
> 
> I hope I have confused you now to the point that you won't hesitate
to put
> TWO labels in your venosum-colony.
> 
> Cheerio,
> Wilbert Hetterscheid (member of Homo sapiens for as long as it is
allowed by
> taxonomists)
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> > -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> > Van: aroid-l-owner@lists.ncsu.edu
> > [mailto:aroid-l-owner@lists.ncsu.edu]Namens Rand Nicholson
> > Verzonden: vrijdag 7 februari 2003 17:22
> > Aan: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
> > Onderwerp: Re: [aroid-l] Typhoniums linked
> >
> >
> > Your  Lordliness:
> >
> >   I  subscribe to a few other lists, notably an orchid and
> > carnivorous
> > plants list, where the naming of names is sometimes discussed by
> > knowledgeable people with hammers and battleaxes a-flailing,
though
> > usually more civilized. Although sometimes fun from an onlooker's
> > point of view  (I keep very still and try not to make eye
contact),
> > one can appreciate the underlying seriousness of what is being
> > attempted. Many times it has been brought home, the importance of
> > getting it right amongst a sometimes bewildering (to me)
confusion of
> > criteria, historical inaccuracies, various schools of thought
(ie:
> > Lumpers and Splitters) and , of course, the personal take of some
> > involved regarding the rules and guidelines of taxonomy itself.
So, I
> > do not mock the science or the attempt to classify things as they
> > should be in order to allow me to say for certainty that my A.
> > fargesii _is_ indeed A. fargesii and not A. franchetianum (which,
by
> > the way, it turned out to be - I think).
> >
> > Typhonium venosum (see, I said it! Hardly hurt at all.) came to
me as
> > a "Voodoo Lily" with a burbling exhortation of how it would
"flower
> > hugely and gorgeously on your windowsill from the naked bulb
without
> > being potted into soil!"  Who amongst us could resist that? And
it
> > did what they said.
> >
> > After I regained consciousness I found out everything I could,
which
> > was _very_ difficult at that time, (my email was still a decade
away
> > in the early eighties) about the amazing beast, my first bulbous
> > Aroid, and decided that Sauromatum guttatum was a keeper (much to
the
> > disgust of my friends and family who had witnessed the event).
> >
> > You see, I had a lot invested in the name as well as the plant
which
> > still lives on today, happily flaunting its inflorescence each
spring
> > like clockwork _out_ of doors in fresh moving air in a nice roomy
pot
> > with some of its offspring. Now the place is crawling with
various
> > Aroids and I could not be happier. I bend a knee before your
phalloid
> > wisdom m'Lord and If you find that you must rename any of them I
will
> > dutifully make the appropriate labels and use them freely, as I
have
> > a large supply of markers and labels are cheap.  And I actually
do
> > want to know what I have, am growing, and be able to find good
> > information on them. Names are, indeed, important.
> >
> > (I should also get points for restraint in complying with your
> > expectations regarding any  answer to your question. Significant
> > restraint, when one considers possible responses, which, of
course, I
> > haven't.)
> >
> > You will forgive me though, I trust, if I dance The Aroid Dance
of
> > Joy _if_ an old friend returns? And have a bit of fun with this
along
> > the way?
> >
> >
> > Best Regards,
> >
> >
> > Rantless Rand
> > z5b (I wish) Maritime Canada
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >Ranting Rand,
> > >
> > >You are absolutely right. Us taxonomists make life
> > complicated at times. On
> > >the other hand, plant people are inherently conservative in
this, not
> > >appreciating the scientific dynamics of taxonomy, which after
all IS
> > >science. What would happen if scientific developement
> > stopped? (I don't
> > >expect a smart-ass answer to this!!!!!!! o.k.!!!!!)
> > >
> > >Congrats with your Sauromatum labels! Don't throw 'em away
> > just yet!!!!!!!!
> > >
> > >Cheerio,
> > >
> > >Lord P.

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