Plant Taxonomy: Methods and Principles

Plant Taxonomy: Methods and Principles

Plant Taxonomy: Methods and Principles

Plant Taxonomy: Methods and Principles

Excerpt

Since the little-known writings of Gregor Mendel were brought to light, as the twentieth century began, the field of plant classification, or taxonomy, has matured into a thorough study of natural population systems and of their evolution in relation to past and present environments. Like all other fields of knowledge, taxonomy has deep roots in related and even in seemingly unrelated areas of investigation. Because the factors to be taken into account have changed, and because the underlying principles are now better understood, the entire field of taxonomy requires thoughtful reevaluation. It is hoped that this book is a contribution toward that end.

The chapters which follow place primary emphasis upon the dynamic application of taxonomic methods and principles, and the rules of nomenclature. The reader is shown how to explore for data in herbaria and in published studies. He is made aware that much can be contributed to his search by data from the sciences of microscopic morphology, paleobotany, biogeography, chemistry, ecology, physiology, cytology, and genetics. By experimental studies, he comes to grips with the methodology of constructing a taxonomic system and the rules which govern the choice of valid scientific names. He also learns how taxa should be described and how to supply proper documentation for his research. The orientation of the book is toward research, and the final chapters deal with the preparation of treatises and monographs for publication.

Although primarily written as a textbook for students who have already acquired some familiarity with plant classification, this volume will, it is believed, also find reference use by students in conjunction with other course work; by teachers, in the preparation of lectures and laboratories in taxonomy or other fields; and by research workers in taxonomy and in fields which bear kinship to this discipline.

The gratitude of the author is expressed to many individuals, particularly to those who have read all or parts of the manuscript. For their contributions, the author is especially indebted to Dr.

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