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Re: PhyloCode and ICZN: Can they work together?

On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 10:48 AM, Jason Anderson <janders@ucalgary.ca> wrote:
> T. Michael Keesey wrote:
> > As the PhyloCode's
>  > preamble states, "This code may be used concurrently with the
>  > rank-based codes" (http://www.ohiou.edu/phylocode/preamble.html#pre3).
>  This is somewhat disingenuous, considering the preference the PhyloCode
>  makes for redefining well known names as crown clades rather as they are
>  commonly currently used, including fossil stem taxa. How can two codes
>  that permit the same name to apply to widely different groups of animals
>  really work together?

In the case of ranked zoological taxa above the family group, these
are not covered by any code. In the case of zoological taxa of the
family- and genus-groups and in the case of botanical taxa, the basic
requirement is that they include all eponymous subtaxa of lower ranks.
This requirement does not, in most circumstances, conflict with
phylogenetic definitions. I agree that there is a potential for
problems when it comes to clade names converted from names of taxa
covered by the rank-based codes*, but I don't think that's what you're
referring to here. I think (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that
you're referring to "Tetrapoda", and that's a name that isn't
currently covered by any code. (In fact, people can't even seem to
agree on its rank: is it an infraphylum, a division, or a superclass?)
So this is a conflict, but not a code-based conflict, since the ICZN
has nothing whatsoever to say on the matter.

(I should also note that there is absolutely *no* potential for
conflict when it comes to alpha taxonomy -- the current draft of the
PhyloCode is quite clear in keeping its hands off species.)

* As an example, suppose we defined "Alphidae", converted from a
family name, as Clade(_Alpha alpha_ + _Beta beta_) and "Alphoidea",
converted from a superfamily name, as Clade(_A. alpha_ + _Gamma
gamma_). If _G. gamma_ turned out to share more recent ancestry with
_A. alpha_ than with _B. beta_, we'd have a situation where Clade
_Alphoidea_ was a subclade of Clade _Alphidae_, even though the
zoological code mandates that Alphoidea include Alphidae. This is a
problem which the current draft doesn't have any specific provisions
for, although Art. 15.11 may be sufficient.

>  If folks on this list aren't aware of the nomenclatural agenda now
>  written into the current PhyloCode, read the recent paper by Kevin de
>  Queiroz in Systematic Biology (2007: 956-974). While the full scope of
>  de Queiroz's view isn't fully implimented in the PhyloCode, enough of it
>  is that it should raise concern.

The crown/panstem convention was actually more fully implemented in
the previous draft -- the current version has backed down a bit, as a
result of discussions at the last ISPN meeting (Yale 2006). We'll see
what happens after this year's meeting. (Personally, I've come to
really like the convention, but....)

T. Michael Keesey
Director of Technology
Exopolis, Inc.
2894 Rowena Avenue Ste. B
Los Angeles, California 90039