fees for determinations

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at FMPPR.FMNH.ORG
Tue Dec 3 06:48:50 CST 1996

At 12:36 PM 12-02-96 +0000, you wrote:
>Are you saying, Thomas, that taxonomists NEVER need to use ecological,
>physiological or molecular data?

No, certainly not, and I apologize if I gave that impression.  Obviously,
all biological disciplines are interconnected and interdependent to varying
degrees.  In fact, it has been said that systematics is the one discipline
that has no data of its own, instead taking its data from other disciplines:
morphology, anatomy, cytology, chemistry, etc.  I'm a big proponent of the
highly synthetic approach to systematics, believing that the most robust
classifications are those in which a maximum number of data sets paint the
same picture.  (Though it is safe to say that historically, physiology at
least has less often contributed useful data to angiosperm systematics than,
say, cytology, anatomy, or molecular biology.  But who knows what the future
holds?)  What I meant was that it seems that systematics is more often able
to be of service in immediate practical ways to some other biological
disciplines (by telling them just what it is they are working with and where
it fits in the grand scheme of things) than the reverse.

Thomas G. Lammers                                       lammers at fmppr.fmnh.org
Department of Botany
Center for Evolutionary and Environmental Biology
Field Museum of Natural History
Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496 USA

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