Phenetics Phenetics is a process by which taxa are clustered together based on the number of their similarities (or differences, depending on the numerical coefficient employed). Traits are measured and either converted into integers or input directly as numerical data. Theses data are then mathematically processed using an algorithm that generates a similarity (or distance as the case may be) matrix. Various graphical representations of this matrix include a phenogram, and principal coordinate plot. Phenetic classifications are plagued by problems of convergence and parallelism, but are useful in their attempt to objectify the classification process. My previous work on triprojectate pollen employed phenetics to deal with a wide array of subjective ratios or other classification methods. Convergence was a given with this group of fossil pollen produced by one or more groups of unknown extinct plants. Since monophylesis could not be established for the entire group, phenetics was use to help
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