systematics V taxonomy

Heike Vibrans heike at COLPOS.COLPOS.MX
Thu Sep 5 19:13:55 CDT 2002

Somewhere along the lines of Mary Barkworths and John
McNeills answer, I tell my students that taxonomy is the
grouping of plants into groups that are similar to each
other in some pre-defined way and the science of defining
criteria to do that; the units may or may not form a
hierarchy. There are plant taxonomies quite different from
the standard, scientific one. Folk taxonomies often group
plants by life form and/or use groups (and often have
several levels of hierarchy). Pharmacists may group plants
mainly for their useful chemicals, landscape architects
for the artistic effect of the form.

Scientific systematics then include scientific taxonomy
based mainly on evolutionary relationships, but also
nomenclature, and the investigation of the relationships
and of the evolution of the taxa.

Though I must admit some students stay wide-eyed and
perplexed ...

Dra. Heike Vibrans L.
Laboratorio de Etnobotánica
Especialidad de Botánica
Colegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agrícolas
km 35.5 carr. México-Texcoco
53230 Montecillo
Estado de México, Mexico

Tel. +52 (595) 95 20 200 Ext. 1335 (directo), 1331
(secretaria), 1330 (dirección)
Fax. +52 (595) 95 20 247
Correo electrónico: heike at (trabajo)
heikev at (casa)

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