Limits of the Discussion.

Stuart G. Poss Stuart.Poss at USM.EDU
Fri Nov 26 08:51:51 CET 1999

Are existing methods and this discussion restricted to "morphological characters"?

I think it would be much more useful to broadly define a character as "a feature or
property that varies among taxa as defined for a given basis of comparison."  This
could be a morphological trait as it often will be for taxonomic considerations.
However, characters can be defined for a molecular, physiological, ecological, and
behavioral bases (the last perhaps less so for plants).  This would greatly broaden
the potential group of users and begin the much needed dialog among disciplines that
are not defined by the taxa themselves.  Even among morphologists and taxonomists,
there are many of us who seek to understand morphology in a variety of contexts.

How are non-morphological characters treated by contemporary methods (besides 0's
and 1's)?

"Susan B. Farmer" wrote:

> If I'm going to define a group of objects to define the morphology
> of my organisms (in my case of members of the Trilliaceae), I'll
> have a small set.

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