Text books

Mike Crisp Mike.Crisp at ANU.EDU.AU
Mon Nov 13 12:13:52 CST 1995

Diana Horton made the following request:

>I will be teaching a class in plant taxonomy (theory, not flowering plant
>families) next semester, and I would like to know what texts other people,
>both botanists and systematists in general, are using.

I teach the systematics part of a second-year course 'Plant Reproduction
and Systematics', and set as the text book: Jones, S. B., Luchsinger, A.
E., 1987: Plant Systematics. - New York: McGraw Hill.  I consider it OK but
not ideal.  One problem is that I don't use the second half of the book,
whioch contains a series of descriptions of families more relevant to the
northern hemisphere than Australia, and I don't teach family descriptions

I also teach in a course 'Comparative Biology and Systematics' which is
general, not specific to plants, and mostly theoretical.  We prescribe
Quicke, D. L. J., 1993: Principles and Techniques of Contemporary Biology.
- London: Blackie Academic & Professional.  This book is good and up to
date, but filled with annoying little errors.  Hopefully these will be
cleaned up in the second edition.

Both books are in paperback and relatively inexpensive.

David Morrison wrote an excellent series of reviews of plant systematics
text books in the Australian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter,
published between 1992 and 1994.  He covered Jones and Luchsinger but not
Quicke.  He also reviewed:

Forey, P. L., Humphries, C. J., Kitching, I. J., Scotland, R. W., Siebert,
D. J., Williams, D. M., 1992: Cladistics: A Practical Course in
Systematics. - Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Jeffrey, C., 1982: An Introduction to Plant Taxonomy. - Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press.

Maddison, W. P., Maddison, D. R., 1992: MacClade. Analysis of Phylogeny and
Character Evolution.  Version 3.0. - Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer

Pankhurst, R. J., 1991: Practical Taxonomic Computing. - Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

Radford, A. E., 1986: Fundamentals of Plant Systematics. - New York: Harper
& Row.

Sivarajan, V. V., 1991: Introduction to the Principles of Plant Taxonomy. -
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stace, C. A., 1989: Plant Taxonomy and Biosystematics. - London: Edward Arnold.

Stuessy, T. D., 1990: Plant Taxonomy. The Systematic Evaluation of
Comparative Data. - Koenigstein, West Germany: Koeltz Scientific Books.

Wiley, E. O., Siegel-Causey, D., Brooks, D. R., Funk, V. A., 1991: The
Compleat Cladist: A Primer of Phylogenetic Procedures. - Lawrence:
University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History.

He was not rapt in any of them, which I agree.  Of course, their emphasis
varies.  Some are mainly about phylogeny reconstruction (e.g. Forey et al.
and Maddison & Maddison), others are only about descriptive taxonomy (e.g.
Radford, Jeffrey), whilst others attempt a balance.  You have to find the
book that fits your particular course structure.  This will not be easy!

You will probably have trouble finding the ASBS Newsletter, in which case
contact the editor Greg Leach (LEACH.GREG at ccpl01.a1.nt.gov.au) or the
author (davidm at iris.bio.uts.edu.au).


Mike Crisp

Dr. Michael D. Crisp
Senior Lecturer in Plant Systematics
Division of Botany & Zoology
Australian National University       Phone int+ 61 6 249 2882
Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia         Fax int+ 61 6 249 5573

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