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Reconciliation of evolution and nomenclature among the higher taxa of protists

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)
Publication Date
  • Protists
  • Evolution
  • Taxonomy
  • Nomenclature
  • Phylogeny
  • Protozoa
  • Algae


Abstract Existing taxonomic schemes for the protists at the highest levels are confusing owing to insensitivity to evolutionary data, lack of stability, evolutionarily misleading terminology and multiple, contradictory systems. We propose a system which circumvents these problems by recognizing the largest monophyletic groups possible, and creating a nomenclature for these by appending the suffix ‘protista’ onto an already recognizable prefix: for example, euglenoprotista, cilioprotista, chytridioprotista. This system provides a high degree of stability while also allowing for the further clustering of these groups and inclusion of their descendant groups, such as the plants, as more evolutionary data become available.

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