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A critical overview of the state-of-the-art in biological systematics, that presents a broad perspective of the subject covering its history, theory and practice. Includes a major review of the current state of taxonomy and a discussion of evolutionary patterns.
Part 1 Problems and methods: systems and classifications; some steps in comparative biology; biochemical and molecular systematics; the species; resources and media. Part 2 The state of the art: the inventory of natural diversity; towards the system; interviews on the daily work of systematists - problems and trends; the unequal distribution of taxonomic diversity; domesticated and cultivated plants. Part 3 Epilogue: some dangerous trends and a hope for the future.