The role of vegetative and reproductive attributes in the classification of the Orchidaceae

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Abstract

Ninety-three orchid taxa have been arranged into three classificatory dendrograms employing respectively 40 reproductive, 34 vegetative and 74 attributes combined, and forming the hierarchy by means of group-average clustering. According to these results the non-specificity hypothesis does not hold well for vegetative versus reproductive attributes. Both types of attributes are equally efficient predictors of the classification based upon the total data, though neither data set is a very reliable predictor. Hence both should be employed in the production of general classifications and when considering the phylogenetic relationships amongst orchids.

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