Circumscribing a Clade/Taxon

select a clade/taxon at the level of the order or smaller (i.e, family or
genus). At
least one of your references should be a primary research article (i.e., one
that includes an Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion) I collected a lot of Legumes for my herbarium collection for this class so you could do that but it’s really up to you what you want to write about.

Circumscription.  Each student
will be responsible for writing a brief circumscription of a clade that is of
particular interest to you.  Strictly
speaking, a circumscription should summarize the nomenclature,
morphological/anatomical (and biochemical) descriptions, and phylogenetic
relationships of all the taxa included within a monophyletic group. However,
for this assignment you will only have to include the 8-12 taxa in your
circumscription.   I will be posting a
complete rubric in the next few days, but a few things to keep in mind.
a) Ensure that the nomenclature for
the taxa that you are including is current. 
The best way to do this is to check one or more authoritative websites.  The most reliable ones that I have found are:,, or  The USDA  and MOBOT sites also provide good examples of
what a circumscription looks like.
b) Look up the relationships
between the taxa included.
c) A good circumscription will
include information about the geographic range of the taxa included.

d) Note that for particularly
diverse clades you can choose to focus on higher level taxa.  For example, you could circumscribe twelve
genera rather than twelve species.  You
could also circumscribe a subfamily, tribe or genus rather than an entire
family or order.

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