Definition of Systematics

Jan Metlevski jmetlevs at KSU.EDU
Sun Apr 16 06:56:45 CDT 2006

On Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:32:36 -0400, Amy Rossman <amy at NT.ARS-GRIN.GOV>

>Communicating about the importance of systematics to non-specialists is
difficult.  Does
>anyone have any thoughts on a good definition that is understood by the
lay public?

I would say that one of the most significant problems that the humankind
is facing now, and which likely will be the matter of surviving in future,
is the problem of relations between humans and natural environment. In
order to know how to use our natural environment for our needs without
destroying this environment we have to know how ecosystems work, how they
develop, what causes one or another change in ecosystem, and eventually
how to manage ecosystems.  In order to know how any system work and
function it is necessarily, referring to the General Systems Theory, to
know at least two things: first what are the parts and elements of the
system and how they are hierarchically organized; and second how do these
parts and elements interact or how are they connected. I think it is
obvious that Systematics covers the first part by giving us knowledge
about the biodiversity and Ecology covers the second part by giving us
knowledge about how the elements of biodiversity are interacting.



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