systematics V taxonomy

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Fri Sep 6 07:55:58 CDT 2002

At 05:00 PM 9/5/02 -0400, you wrote:
>Several grad students were sitting around discussing/debating the
>differences between systematics and taxonomy.  Are there *really*
>any differences, or is the distincting mostly semantic?

To me, taxonomy is the narrower field, dealing with the creation of
classification & nomenclature, and their application (e.g.,
identification).  Systematics includes the coordinate disciplines of
phylogenetics (study of evolutionary patterns) and evolutionary biology
(study of evolutionary processes).  All are interlocking and affect one
another, and for that reason are largely if not completely
synonymous.  This view is derived largely from the  intro chapters of Tod
Stuessy's 1990 textbook.
Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and biogeography
of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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