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Chris Wozencraft wozie at LCSC.EDU
Fri Jan 20 08:17:12 CST 1995

Readers of TAXACOM

Earlier I put out a plea for information concerning textbooks that
would be suitable for a course in Biological Systematics.  The
course is designed for undergraduates in our Field Biology
Program.  Many responded and I thank you for your assistance.
Below is the course syllabus that I have put together for the
semester.  Evidently, there are no textbooks that cover the scope
of classification, taxonomy, and systematics for both plants and
animals - at least not at what I would consider a sophomore-Junior
level course.  Mayr & Ashlock came close - but did not cover

I have found that students that take our other courses (Zoology,
Botany, Mammalogy, etc.) have little or no understanding of
classification, taxonomy and/or systematics.  Because of this we
now require this class in biological systematics of our biology
majors.  This will become especially critical with all of the
emphasis on biodiversity and monitoring that is occuring in field

Because of the failure of finding a textbook that meets my
criteria, I am using a collection of 'readings' taken from various
sources in the hope that we will touch on the basics and give them
an understanding of the field at the same time.  (see list below)

I would appreciate any suggestions, helpful hints, comments, etc.
that any one would dare venture to help out.


Course:   BI   302  Biological Systematics   Spring 1995

Instructor:    W. Chris Wozencraft
               email = wozie at

SnailMailbox:  Div. Nat. Science
               Lewis-Clark State College
               Lewiston, ID 83501
               PHONE:    (208)799-2889
               FAX:      (208)799-2064

PURPOSE:  This course will focus on evolutionary systematic
     theory as a tool for discerning the relationships among
     organisms.  Areas to be covered include:  Cladistics,
     phenetics, macroevolution, molecular systematics, speciation,
     and the construction of phylogenetic trees that will depict
     the best hypothesis for the evolution of a selected group.


1.   To be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of
     current theories concerning evolutionary and comparative
     biology and systematics.
2.   To be able to critically evaluate phylogenetic hypotheses
     using current comparative techniques.
3.   To be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of
     current theories regarding speciation and anagenetic change.
4.   To have a working knowledge of at least two computer software
     packages used to evaluate phylogenetic hypotheses.


1.   2 classroom meetings per week.  Format will vary:  lecture,
     discussion, and student presentation.
2.   Work in computer lab as needed.


1.   Hour exams                         40%
2.   Quizzes                            10%
3.   Project (research paper)           25%
4.   Homework  & computer assignments:  18%
5.   Participation                      7%


January   18   Systematics as the basis of comparative biology
               and evolution

     Topics:  course outline, Just what is systematics and why is
     it important?  Basic classification scheme:  Why do we
     classify things?  Are classifications natural?  What
     difference does it make?  What is a scientific name?  Who

Jan       23   Eldredge & Cracraft (1980):   Biological
               Classification (pp. 147-210)

          Darwin, Natural Groups and Classification;
     classification of animals and plants; Linnaean Hierarchy;
     trees and classification.  Individual concept versus group
     concept.  How does this affect endangered species?
     Subspecies?  Populations?

          25   The vocabulary of Classification.
               Hierarchial Schemata:  What does it mean?

          30   Zoological Rules of Nomenclature
               [Mayr, 1969: 297-380; Mayr & Ashlock, 383-406]

          Nomenclatural codes; binomial nomenclature; systematics
     above the species level; types; identification and keys;
     hybrids; domestic animals.

February  1    Botanical Rules of Nomenclature
               [Sivarajan, 1991:  198-217]

          Nomenclatural codes; binomial nomenclature; systematics
     above the species level; types; identification and keys;
     hybrids; domestic varieties.

           6   Wiley (1981):  Rules of Nomenclature (pp. 366-400)

               Systematic literature, keys, publication rules,

          8    Bad Taxonomy can kill:  Taxonomy and the
               conservation of endangered species.

          13   Taxonomy Test

          15   Wiley (1981) Species and Speciation (pp. 21-37).

          Just what is a species?  Subspecies?  What are the
     different kinds of species concepts? How do you know when you
     have a new species?  Are they natural? How can you identify

          20   HOLIDAY - NO CLASS

          22   Mayr & Ashlock (1991):  The Species Category;
               The Species Taxon, (pp. 23-54).

          Clines, variants, hybrids and other species concepts.
     How do you tell subspecies apart?

          27   Wiley (1981) Species and Speciation (pp. 38-69).

          Modes of speciation:  sympatry, allopatry, parapatry.
     Co-evolution.  Reductive speciation. Sibling species.

March      1   Stace, 1989:  Plants and Hybrids.

           6   Species and Speciation Test  (75%new/25%old)

           8   Phenetics, Phylogenetic Systematics, and
               Evolutionary Classifications

          A comparison of different schools of thought concerning
     how organisms should be classified; advantages and
     disadvantages of each method.

           13  Eldredge & Cracraft (1980):
               Biological Classification (pp. 211-239)

               Cladograms, trees, and classification.

          15   Wiley (1981) Phylogenetic Classification
               (pp. 193-239)

          Components of phylogenetic classifications; Linnaean
     hierarchy and its alternatives; classification of fossils;
     trees and classifications.

          20   Funk & Brooks (1994):  Phylogenetic Systematics as
               the Basis of Comparative Biology (pp. 1-29).

               Also:  Introduction to MacClade & PAUP
               Comparative methods; hybridization; speciation.

          22   Funk & Brooks (1994):  Phylogenetic Systematics as
               the Basis of Comparative Biology
               (pp. 29-42).

               Historical ecology;  ecological and behavioral

          27-29     SPRING BREAK

April     3    Wiley, et al. (1991):  Chapter 1
                    (good for test review).

          5    Phylogenetic Systematics Test.  (75%new/25%old)

          10   Homology as the basis for comparative biology.

               MacClade & PAUP:  Pt. 2

          12   Wiley, et al. (1991):  Basic Phylogenetic
               Techniques. (Chapter 2)

          17   Wiley, et al. (1991):  Character argumentation
               and coding. (Chapter 3)

          Homology, outgroups, polarities, ordered vs.unordered.

          19   Wiley, et al. (1991):  Tree building and
                    optimization. (Chapter 4).

               Parsimony, optimizing trees. MacClade & PAUP, Pt.3

          24   Wiley, et al. (1991):  Tree comparisons.
               (Chapter 5)

               Tree length; consistency indices; consensus

          26   Wiley, et al. (1991):  Classification.
               (Chapter 6)

May       1    Project Presentations

          3    Project Presentations

          8    Project Presentations

          15   Fourth Hour Exam. (75%new/25%old)


Blackwelder, R.E.  1967.  Taxonomy:  A text and reference Book.
     John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  NY.

Bremer, K.  1985.  Summary of green plant phylogeny and
     classification.  Cladistics 1:369-385.

Brooks, D.R., and D. A. McLennan.  1991.  Phylogeny, Ecology, and
     Behavior:  A Research Program in Comparative Biology.
     University of Chicago Press.

Cracraft, J.  1983.  Species concepts and speciation analysis.
     Current Ornithology 1:159-187.

Eldredge, N., and J. Cracraft.  1980.  Phylogenetic Patterns and
     the Evolutionary Process.  Columbia University Press.

Forey, P.L., C. J. Humphries, et. al.  1992.  Cladistics:  A
     practical course in Systematics.  Oxford Science
     Publications.  The Systematics Association Publication no.

Funk, V.A.  1985.  Phylogenetic patterns and hybridization.
     Annuals of the Mo. Botanical Garden  72:681-715.

Hovenkamp, P.,  E. Gittenberger, E. Hennipman, et al.  1987.
     Systematics and Evolution:  A Matter of Diversity.  Utrecht
     University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.  1985.
     International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.  3rd ed.  ISBN

Mayr, E. and P.D. Ashlock.  1991.   Principles of Systematic
     Zoology.  2nd ed.  McGraw-Hill. Inc.  ISBN 0-07-041144-1.

Panchen, A.L.  1992.  Classification, evolution, and the nature of
     biology.  Cambridge University Press.  ISBN 0-521-31578-6

Schoch, R.M.  1986.  Phylogeny Reconstruction in Paleontology.
     Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.

Sivarajan, V.V. (ed. by N.K.B. Robson).  1991.  Introduction to
     the Principles of Plant Taxonomy.  2nd ed.  Cambridge
     University Press.  NY.  ISBN 0-521-35587-7.

Stace, C.A.  1989.  Plant Taxonomy and Biosystematics.  2nd ed.
     Edward Arnold.  London.  ISBN 0-7131-2955-7.

Wiley, E.O., and R. L. Mayden.  1985.  Species and speciation in
     phylogenetic systematics, with examples from the North
     American fish fauna.  Ann. Mo. Botanical Garden  72:596-635.

Wiley, E. O.  1981.  Phylogenetics.  The Principles and Practice
     of Phylogenetic systematics.  John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Wiley, E. O., D. Siegel-Causey, D. R. Brooks, V. A. Funk.  1991.
     The Compleat Cladist:  A Primer of Phylogenetic Procedures.
     The University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History.  Special
     Publication No. 19.

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