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The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Re: BRYONET: local endemics


Lars (and Paul Wilson),

You are of course quite right - the academic
universe and its discussions are as much a part
of the "real world" as anything else. I think
that what people are getting at when they
complain about schemes such as rank-free
classification is that often these schemes pay
little attention to the practical need to
communicate. I like what Paul Wilson has just
written, its about the first time I have seen an
effort to accommodate the needs of the
generalists in retaining a straightforward easy
to use system as well as acknowledging the needs
of the cladistic specialists.

One thing to consider about the binomial system
is that it makes remembering large numbers of
names very much easier. For people who want to
know a few thousand kinds of plants, it would be
very hard to remember and communicate all those
names if they were all uni-nomial and not
arranged hierarchically in binomial groups of
some kind.

Finally, the person who started this thread asked
a straightforward question and we have gone far
from what I suspect was his original intent.
Surely, his question can be easily answered in
the affirmative, yes there are endemic
bryophytes, just as there are endemic
angiosperms, although endemism is bryophytes is
lower, I think. Examples are on oceanic islands,
where it is not hard to find distinctive endemics
with very small ranges. Pterobryella praenitens
and other endemics on Lord Howe Island are just
one case in point.

Best wishes,

John Game.

Research Associate,
University and Jepson Herbaria,
University of California,
Berekeley, CA.
510 527 7855
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