Monophyly and the Two Hierarchies

Olivier Rieppel

in Beyond Cladistics

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267725
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947993 | DOI:
Monophyly and the Two Hierarchies

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The school of biological systematics known as cladistics is notorious for drawing a distinction between pattern and process. The pattern is one of relative degrees of relationships, the process is one of species lineages splitting and splitting again. Phylogenetic relationships are expressed as a phylogenetic tree, which is a system of species lineages splitting and splitting again. The result is a “division hierarchy” that does not specify relations of inclusiveness. In 1992, P. A. Williams “suggested that some major problems found in cladism stem from a confusion inherent in its philosophy.” Specifically, she claims to have demonstrated that the divisional “hierarchy” and the Linnaean hierarchy are different types of “hierarchy.” This chapter focuses on monophyly and the two hierarchies. It looks at the use of DNA barcodes for species identification and discovery and as a potential tool to let reciprocal illumination guide the process of species identification and discovery.

Keywords: DNA barcodes; monophyly; cladistics; phylogenetic relationships; division hierarchy; P. A. Williams; Linnaean hierarchy; reciprocal illumination; species identification

Chapter.  8387 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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