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Re: Mossmania

> Tom Barr.....if you read this....what are they teaching you in school?

Godless Satanic evolution and other scientific trickery.

> Do
> any of your professors know anything about plant taxonomy?

Of course not!
 Several are systematicist. One of my friend's Ph.D. research along with the
genetics lab is studying the Columbine. The plant has subtle floral
variations all over the country. Another is the foremost expert on Wood over
at the SB botantical Garden. I'm not a systematicist. I don't care what you
call it:)  
As long as we are on "the same page" is all I care about. Close is good
enough for me:)
The evolution lineage is more an issue for myself.
I doubt you'll get the answer you seek and only find more unanswered
questions. Some things are simply not that clear cut even with molecular
data etc. There are still big questions. Mosses are a specialty field and
there are not many that go into this.
> The same sort of confusion also occurs within the plants called "Ferns". In
> a recent article in PAM, Karen Randall lists Horsetails (Equisetum) and
> Quillworts (Isoetes) as being within the basic phylum (division)
> Pteridophyta. I have seen classification "schemes" which follow this
> thinking.

> But in the USDA Database, Equisetum is placed in a division of its
> own (Equisetophyta) and the Isoetes are placed in the division
> Lycopodiophyta (which also contains the Club Mosses, Lycopodium). The plants
> we think of as "ferns" are listed in another division -  Pteridophyta.

I agree with the above USDA and was taught this. Both are very old lines.
Simply because some chooses one classification system over another doesn't
mean they are wrong per se. That's their reference. Mine may be(and often
is) different. My reference was sold and I'm not near the library:) But
where the cut off is for placement? That's up to those who are writing it.
You could argue to some degree either way but the USDA will more likely
prevail IMO and is up to date more I tend to think. I just don't care that
much honestly. I know what a horsetail is, all it's parts, Silicon
components, etc. One of my favorite plants along with Isoetes.
For some, learning one division may be easier than learning 3. Folks may not
need to get "the full dose" but more the "general idea" that they are all
related. They will often get the picture better if you keep it simple.
Nature is anything but simple and these other issues come into play and make
it very confusing(like to you:-) and others. Do you want the long or the
short answer? That's a tough question in and of it's self. Realistic or
simple easy to understand? How do you teach the concept to make it easier to
learn? That's a stickler.

> Within that division, I have also seen differences in the placement of
> Azolla - some authors show it as being grouped with Salvinia while others
> give it equal status as a "family" separate from Salvinia.

Azolla, Salvinia and Marselia are all grouped together then subdivided.
These are "advanced" groups of ferns. Azolla and Marselia are of particular

Azolla may be the best adapted aquatic plant. Has Anabena for N2 gas usage
and roots for P absorption, floats to get the light and CO2, lives in water,
grows fast, etc  
> James Purchase
> Scratching my head in Toronto

I'm going into plants and all, but I'm not after classification issues so
much. That's a whole ball of wax all on it's own. Even plant biologist leave
things to the specialist. I can figure things out if I have too but.....
It's getting better but it's still a long way off from perfect! Like most
But you have remember that almost **no funding** is going into this issue.
In the past there was more funding but it's in short supply these days. It
also takes time to react to new information and this is happening but it may
awhile on many things. Don't stay up waiting:) I agree it needs a lot of
work and there are folks willing to do it. But no $ :-(
Opinion may vary greatly on this subject as you ask around. If you can back
it up with references(hopefully as up to date as you can) great.
Tom Barr