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Descriptive Taxonomy: The Foundation of Biodiversity Research

Series: Systematics Association Special Volumes Series Volume: 84

By: Mark F Watson(Author), Chris HC Lyal(Author), Colin A Pendry(Author)

324 pages, 4 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; 36 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 6 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jan 2015 | #215017 | ISBN-13: 9780521761079
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £66.99 $90/€76 approx

About this book

In an age when biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate, it is vital that floristic and faunistic information is up to date, reliable and easily accessible for the formulation of effective conservation strategies. Electronic data management and communication are transforming descriptive taxonomy radically, enhancing both the collection and dissemination of crucial data on biodiversity. Descriptive Taxonomy is written by scientists at the forefront of current developments of floras and faunas, along with specialists from applied user groups. The chapters review novel methods of research, development and dissemination, which aim to maximise the relevance and impact of data. Regional case studies are used to illustrate the outputs and impacts of taxonomic research. Integrated approaches are presented which have the capacity to accelerate the production of floras and faunas and to better serve the needs of a widening audience.


List of contributors
Introduction M. F. Watson and C. Lyal

Part I. The Widening Audience:
1. Floras yesterday, today and tomorrow A. G. Miller, M. Hall, M. F. Watson, S. G. Knees, C. Pendry and M. R. Pullan
2. Current uses and future perspectives for conservation biology B. Collen
3. The present and future value of Floras for functional ecologists J. Dick, R. Smith and R. Wadsworth
4. A publisher's perspective: making biodiversity information available and relevant to a wide audience J. Connor

Part II. The Products of Descriptive Taxonomy:
5. Lessons learned from two projects, the Fauna Europaea and the Checklist delle specie della fauna italiana A. Minelli
6. Flora Europaea and Euro+Med S. L. Jury
7. Increasing the utility of the regional African Floras D. W. Kirkup, P. Malcolm and A. Paton
8. Cybertruffle: an on-line resource for mycology D. W. Minter
9. Zooplankton Identification Manual for North European Seas (ZIMNES) L. C. Hastie
10. A field guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of Britain and Ireland S. J. Brooks
11. Sangha Trees: an identification and training guide to the trees of the northern Republic of Congo A. H. Wortley and D. J. Harris
12. Millennium Seed Bank collector guides D. Hopkins
13. Training in tropical plant identification D. J. Harris, S. Bridgewater and J.-M. Moutsamboté
14. Field identification of vectors and pathogens of military significance A. G. Gutierrez

Part III. The Influence of Technology on Data Gathering in the Field:
15. The changing role of collections and field research S. Knapp
16. Field methods for inventorying insects C. L. Häuser and K. Riede
17. From seabed to world wide web: an overview of marine zoological sampling, data processing and potential production of digital marine faunas A. L. Allcock and M. Ryan
18. Advancements in electronic data capture for botanical field research in temperate regions M. F. Watson, A. G. Miller, M. R. Pullan, C. Pendry and S. G. Knees

Part IV. New Technologies: Their Current Use and Future Potential:
19. Extending floras and faunas to include users' views A. L. Weitzman and C. Lyal
20. Taxa, taxon names and globally unique identifiers in perspective R. Hyam
21. E-publishing descriptive taxonomy: the convergence of taxonomic journals and databases V. S. Smith
22. DNA barcoding in floral and faunal research S. E. Miller


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Mark Watson is Head of the Major Floras research programme at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), where he leads the Flora of Nepal team. He is a taxonomic botanist and expert in floristic research in the Sino-Himalayan region, with over 23 years' experience at RBGE in floristics, fieldwork and biodiversity informatics.

Chris Lyal is a researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, with over 40 years' experience in insect taxonomy, including fieldwork in many countries. He has worked on the digitisation of taxonomic literature to address the 'taxonomic impediment' – the shortage of taxonomists and taxonomic tools that hinders work in other areas of biodiversity research and management.

Colin Pendry is an editor for the Flora of Nepal based at RBGE. His background is in ecology, and for the last 20 years he has worked as a plant taxonomist. He has extensive experience of fieldwork in the UK, South East Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Nepal and is at the forefront of developments in RBGE's fieldwork methods.

- M. F. Watson
- C. Lyal
- A. G. Miller
- M. Hall
- S. G. Knees
- C. Pendry
- M. R. Pullan
- B. Collen
- J. Dick
- R. Smith
- R. Wadsworth
- J. Connor
- A. Minelli
- S. L. Jury
- D. W. Kirkup
- P. Malcolm
- A. Paton
- D. W. Minter
- L. C. Hastie
- S. J. Brooks
- A. H. Wortley
- D. J. Harris
- D. Hopkins
- S. Bridgewater
- J.-M. Moutsamboté
- A. G. Gutierrez
- S. Knapp
- C. L. Häuser
- K. Riede
- A. L. Allcock
- M. Ryan
- A. L. Weitzman
- R. Hyam
- V. S. Smith
- S. E. Miller

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