Books  Evolutionary Biology  Cladistics, Phylogeny, Phenology & Taxonomy 

Describing Species: Practical Taxonomic Procedure for Biologists

Handbook / Manual
Excellent manual on taxonomic procedures, of value to all biologists

By: Judith E Winston

518 pages, 14 b/w photos, 38 illus

Columbia University Press

Paperback | Aug 2000 | #110248 | ISBN: 0231068255
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NHBS Price: £37.99 $47/€43 approx
Hardback | Dec 1999 | #101717 | ISBN: 0231068247
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £103.50 $127/€116 approx

About this book

There are still millions of undescribed species. New species are often discovered during biological or paleontological studies: yet there is no one source a student or researcher can readily consult to learn the basic practical aspects of taxonomic procedures. Describing Species fills the need for a manual to organize the explosion of data that has accompanied the biodiversity crisis.

This book is probably the most exhaustive treatment available of the practical aspects of describing new species or higher taxa. -- Henry Disney, Cambridge University Nature A practical manual for all biologists, especially ecologists and other field naturalists, professionals or students, who are immersed in biodiversity and are likely to discover new or unknown species...The principal qualities of Winston's manual reside in its simple writing, direct and free of superfluous jargon, in the profusion of concrete and recent examples, and in its rich bibliography. -- Pierre Brunel, University of Montreal Ecoscience Fascinating reading. CABI Bioscience ... should be read by all students on biodiversity courses. Biologist


I. IntroductionDescribing the Living WorldWhy Is Species Description Necessary?How New Species Are DescribedScope and Organization of This BookThe Pleasures of SystematicsSources2. Biological NomenclatureHumans as TaxonomistsBiological NomenclatureFolk TaxonomyBinomial NomenclatureDevelopment of Codes of NomenclatureThe Current Codes of NomenclatureFuture of the CodesSourcesII. Recognizing Species3. Species and Their DiscoverySpecies ConceptsProcesses Affecting SpeciationTaxonomic CharactersExamples of Ways in Which Biologists Have Discovered New SpeciesSources4. Establishing Identity: The Literature SearchMistakes and Bad ExamplesEstablishing IdentityWhere to Find the Taxonomic LiteratureHow to Read the Taxonomic LiteratureSpecies DescriptionsTaxonomic Literature Searching on the InternetSources5. Establishing Identity: Using Museum CollectionsCollections, Museums, and HerbariaLocating MaterialBorrowing MaterialType MaterialVisiting Collections: What to Expect and How to BehaveCooperation with SystematistsSourcesIII. Writing Species Descriptions6. Species Descriptions in TaxonomyReasons for Writing Species DescriptionsDifferent Kinds of Taxonomic PublicationsForm of the Descriptive Paper7. Headings and SynonymiesDescription HeadingsSynonymsSynonymiesNew SpeciesTypes of SynonymiesTerms Used in SynonymiesDifferent Kinds of SynonymiesReferences in Headings and Synonymies8. Naming Species: EtymologyBrief Review of Latin and GreekBasic Rules of Species NamesDescriptive Species NamesGeographic Species NamesCommemorative Species NamesNonsense Species NamesThe Etymology SectionSources9. Type and Voucher MaterialRationale for Types and VouchersRules of Nomenclature Regarding TypesSelection of Types and VouchersComposition of Type MaterialDocumentation of Type MaterialDeposition of TypesType SectionSources10. DiagnosisWhat Is a Diagnosis?Diagnosis in Zoological TaxonomyDiagnosis in Botanical TaxonomyWhat Is a Diagnostic Character?The Diagnosis Section: AnimalsThe Diagnosis Section: PlantsAdditional Uses for Diagnoses11. Description SectionDescriptive WritingInformation Used in the Description SectionWriting the DescriptionTelegraphic StyleThe Description Section: Animals (Examples of Style for Different Groups)The Description Section: Plants (Examples of Style for Different Groups)Illustrating Taxonomic DescriptionsSources12. Taxonomic Discussion SectionPurpose of the Discussion SectionDiscussion in Descriptions of New SpeciesEvidence to IncludeComposite PapersThe Discussion Section in Other Species DescriptionsTaxonomic Ethics13. The Ecology SectionEcology in Species DescriptionsAnalysis of Ecological VariationField Records: Getting the Most from Field WorkEcological Information from Museum SpecimensThe Ecology SectionSources14. Occurrence and DistributionDistributional Information in Species DescriptionsParameters of Species DistributionsThe Distribution SectionDistribution PapersSources15. Material ExaminedPractical ValueIn Original DescriptionIn Other DescriptionsMaterial Examined SectionMaterial Examined: Botanical TaxonomyThe Material Examined PaperSources16. PublicationCriteria of Publication: ZoologyCriteria of Publication: BotanyPreparation of the ManuscriptSubmission of the ManuscriptFinal Revision and PublicationJournals That Publish Taxonomic PapersIV. Beyond Species Description17. SubspeciesWhy Are Subspecies Important?Infraspecific VariationRules of Infraspecific Nomenclature: ZoologyRules of Infraspecific Nomenclature: BotanyDeciding When to Name an Infraspecific TaxonWriting Infraspecific DescriptionsSources18. Genus-Level Description and RevisionThe Genus ConceptWhen to Describe a New GenusGeneric NamesPublication of Generic NamesGeneric TypesExamples of Generic-Level DescriptionProblems Caused by Generic RevisionInfrageneric Categories and NamesSources19. KeysKeys in TaxonomyKey CharactersSingle-Access (Analytical or Sequential) KeysMultiaccess Keys (Polyclaves)Interactive IdentificationKey ConstructionComputerized Key ConstructionSources20. Description of Higher TaxaFamily Concepts and Their Use in TaxonomyPractical Significance in BiologyDescribing FamiliesFamily-Level Descriptions: ExamplesRedescriptions of Family-Level TaxaDescriptions of Taxa Above the Family LevelProblems with Nomenclature of Higher TaxaSources21. Common ProblemsMissing TypesLectotypesNeotypesNecessary Name ChangesReplacement Names: HomonymyConservation of a NameEmendationsNew CombinationsLack of Information22. Further Studies in SystematicsEvolutionary SystematicsPheneticsCladisticsMolecular SystematicsBiogeographyComparative BiologySourcesLiterature Cited

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Judith E. Winston is director of research at the Virginia Museum of Natural History and a former curator and chair of the Department of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History.

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