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Supporting Spartina: Interdisciplinary perspective shows Spartina as a distinct solid genus

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Authors

  • Alejandro Bortolus
  • Paul Adam
  • Janine Adams
  • Malika Ainouche
  • Debra Ayres
  • Mark D Bertness
  • Tjeerd J. Bouma
  • John F. Bruno
  • Isabel Caçador
  • James D. Carlton
  • Jesus M. Castillo
  • Cesar S.B. Costa
  • Linda Deegan
  • Bernardo Duarte
  • Enrique Figueroa
  • Joel Gerwein
  • Alan J. Gray
  • Edwin D. Grosholz
  • Sally D. Hacker
  • A. Randall Hughes
  • Enrique Mateos-Naranjo
  • Irving A. Mendelssohn
  • James T. Morris
  • Adolfo F. Muñoz-Rodríguez
  • Francisco J.J. Nieva
  • Lisa A. Levin
  • Bo Li
  • Wenwen Lieu
  • Steven C. Pennings
  • Andrea Pickart
  • Susana Redondo-Gómez
  • David M. Richardson
  • Armel Salmon
  • Evangelina Schwindt
  • Brian R. Silliman
  • Erik E. Sotka
  • Clive Stace
  • Mark Sytsma
  • Stijn Temmerman
  • R. Eugene Turner
  • Ivan Valiela
  • Michael P. Weinstein
  • Judith S. Weis

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Abstract

In 2014 a DNA-based phylogenetic study confirming the paraphyly of the grass subtribe Sporobolinae proposed the creation of a large monophyletic genus Sporobolus, including (among others) species previously included in the genera Spartina, Calamovilfa, and Sporobolus. Spartina species have contributed substantially (and continue contributing) to our knowledge in multiple disciplines, including ecology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, biogeography, experimental ecology, environmental management, restoration ecology, history, economics, and sociology. There is no rationale so compelling to subsume the name Spartina as a subgenus that could rival the striking, global iconic history and use of the name Spartina for over 200 years. We do not agree with the arguments underlying the proposal to change Spartina to Sporobolus. We understand the importance of taxonomy and of formalized nomenclature and hope that by opening this debate we will encourage positive feedback that will strengthen taxonomic decisions with an interdisciplinary perspective. We consider the strongly distinct, monophyletic clade Spartina should simply and efficiently be treated as the genus Spartina.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology
Early online date9 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2019
Peer-reviewedYes

Keywords

    Research areas

  • botanical nomenclature, interdisciplinary decisions, cordgrass, salt marsh, coastal ecology

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