The first evolutionary classification of the Araceae: A. Engler’s Natural System

Publication Type:Book Chapter
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:Mayo, S. J., Bogner J.
Book Title:Early events in Monocot evolution
Publisher:Cambridge University Press, The Systematics Association
City:Cambridge, UK
Keywords:19th century, A. Engler, Araceae, C.W. Nägeli, classification, evolutionary concepts, Vervollkommnungstheorie

The development of A. Engler’s classification of the Araceae is described, focussing on the earliest versions published in the 1870s, the fruits of his innovative morphological and anatomical studies of the family during the time he worked in Munich. This shows that Engler was especially concerned with providing a new classification of the Araceae that, in contrast to that of Heinrich Schott, was explicitly founded on hypothetical evolutionary connections between the major taxa. Particular attention is given to Engler’s 1884 paper in which a detailed theoretical justification of his system is given and it is evident that by this time Engler’s interpretations of Araceae phylogeny had been influenced by C.W. Nägeli’s Vervollkommnungstheorie. The continuing significance of Engler’s work on aroids is highlighted.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith