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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Clark, Lynn [1], Holt, Brandon [2].

Dendrogrammaceae: The Next Generation.

The Dendrogrammaceae,originally a set of 18 hypothetical plant taxa, was created by Herb Wagner in1972 as a tool for teaching cladistics analysis in his introductory systematic biology course at the University of Michigan. It was assumed that this set of species shared a common ancestor, but that each taxon had a unique evolutionary history and that no hybridization had occurred within the group. The species of Dendrogrammaceae were illustrated as line drawings in the 1980 paper by Duncan, Phillips and Wagner (Systematic Botany 5: 264-293), in which the hypothetical species were used as evolutionary units (EUs) to compare a number of phenetic and cladistic analytical methods. An EU 0 was postulated as having the most common character states among the 18 species, and was designated as the ancestor, but it was not illustrated. After this publication, the Dendrogrammaceae were adopted more widely as a valuable teaching aid for phylogenetics, but they were also used in teaching other aspects of systematics such as key construction, nomenclature, and classification. Despite the value of the Dendrogrammaceae in teaching phylogenetics, the drawings leave much to be desired and in the digital age, do not have much appeal for students. We decided to remedy this by creating a new and improved Dendrogrammaceae in full color from the version we had available, which included 20 species. We also illustrated an outgroup and included one additional taxon, a sterile hybrid; two of the original species were modified explicitly to be hybrids. The next generation Dendrogrammaceae form the basis for five separate exercises used in teaching introductory plant systematics at Iowa State University.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Iowa State University, Department Of Ecology, Evolution, And Organismal Biology, 251 Bessey Hall, Ames, IA, 50011-1020, USA
2 - Iowa State University, Biological/Pre-Medical Illustration, 251 Bessey Hall, Ames, IA, 50011-1020, USA

systematics teaching tool.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 39
Location: Delaware A/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 39003
Abstract ID:394

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