THE ROLE OF TAXIMETRICS IN ANGIOSPERM TAXONOMY II. PARALLEL TAXIMETRIC AND ORTHODOX STUDIES IN CROTALARIA L.

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SUMMARY

This paper indicates one way in which taximetrics can contribute to the taxonomic work currently being carried out in herbaria and universities. Taximetric and orthodox studies of African species of Crotalaria L. (Leguminosae) carried out separately by the two authors produced classifications which were similar in essential features. It was possible to resolve twenty discrepancies between the two classifications which varied from the delimitation of major groupings to the placing of individual species and the treatment of outliers. In some cases Polhill's orthodox scheme was upheld and in others Bisby's taximetric results provided evidence for making improvements. The outcome was an amended classification for which the nomenclatural changes are set out.

The authors suggest that parallel studies of this sort may prove one of the most useful contributions that taximetrics can make. Not only is maximum use made of both types of procedure but also such studies contribute to knowledge of the relative performance of the taximetric and orthodox procedures. Only when there is much more confidence and experience in using taximetric procedures will it be useful to apply them in situations where there is no immediate check from orthodox work.

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