Carex systematics

February 18, 2008 – 10:46 pm

About a year ago, my friend Duke Austin pointed out that there was a citation on Wikipedia of a class paper I had written on the systematics of the genus Carex (the sedges). Duke was probably Google-stalking me because it’s pretty unlikely that he was just browsing plant genera on Wikipedia. (He studies sociology.) I was happy to know about the link though as I believe that it is my only mention on Wikipedia. I’m not as fancy as my mom who has her own page.

Carex systematics figure

My paper on Carex gave a little bit of history about the classification and identification of sedges — they were originally described by none other than Carl Linnæus — and then reviews some more recent morphological and molecular studies on the relationships between the hundreds of very similar species. It included the graphic above. I had become interested in sedges after studying several Carex species that grew at my field site in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. They were remarkably difficult to identify to the species level and in the final paper they were listed as Carex sp. A and Carex sp. B. I probably could have figured them out, but it would have required some intense keying and/or expert consultations. The paper took enough years to finish as it was.

My class paper was certainly not up to publishable standards (not complete or novel enough), but it was cool to see that it was useful enough to contribute to the information commons of Wikipedia. Seeing this usefulness (however slight!) of posting my writings online was one of the reasons that I wanted to increase my web presence with this blog. With any luck, this blog will also contain marginally useful information.

  1. One Response to “Carex systematics”

  2. Blog or no blog, I think you’re marginally useful! đŸ™‚

    By Jaclyn on Feb 29, 2008

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