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RE: worrying decline



With all due respect, this is hogwash.

Amen. One of the most important functions of phylogenetic reconstruction is not pinning names on nodes and cause taxonomists endless pain (and publications) but once the rather tedious business of working out how species are related is over and done with, to look at WHY that pattern of relatedness is like it is, what processes drive it, and what it can tell you about the way ('scuse the glib statement) life works and species evolve, both as individuals and communities. You simply can't do this without phylogenies - taxonomies may tell you groupings but they don't tell you how far each species is from any other and without this information it becomes much more difficult to quantify trends that you see.


Two cents well spent,

Rich