David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Acta Biotheoretica 38 (3-4) (1990)
From the point of view of a dynamic morphology, form is not only the result of process(es) — it is process. This process may be analyzed in terms of two pairs of fundamental processes: growth and decay, differentiation and dedifferentiation. Each of these processes can be analyzed in terms of various modalities (parameters) and submodalities. This paper deals with those of growth (see Table 1). For the purpose of systematits and phylogenetic reconstruction the modalities and submodalities can be considered dynamic characters that have states. Each state of such a dynamic character is a more detailed process, hence not static. For example, determinate growth represents a state of the dynamic character (or modality) of growth duration.The processes of Table 1 can be applied to the whole plant kingdom (although in certain cases only some processes of the whole set may be applicable). Thus, the diversity of plant form is seen as a diversity of process combinations. From this point of view, change in form implies change in the process combination(s). Questions that arise are, for example, the following: Which process combinations actually occur? Which of these are the most frequent? How and why have process combinations changed during ontogeny and phylogeny?
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