This new edition of a foundational text presents a contemporary review of cladistics, as applied to biological classification. It provides a comprehensive account of the past 50 years of discussion on the relationship between classification, phylogeny and evolution. It covers cladistics in the era of molecular data, detailing new advances and ideas that have emerged over the last 25 years. Written in an accessible style by internationally renowned authors in the field, readers are straightforwardly guided through fundamental principles and terminology. Simple worked examples and easy-to-understand diagrams also help readers navigate complex problems that have perplexed scientists for centuries. This practical guide is an essential addition for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in taxonomy, systematics, comparative biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology.
Part I. The interrelationships of organisms:
1. What this book is about
Part II. Systematics: exposing myths:
3. Relationship diagrams
4. Essentialism and typology
5. Monothetic and polythetic taxa
6. Non-taxa or the absence of –phyly: paraphyly and aphyly
Part III. The cladistic programme:
7. Parameters of classification: ordo ab chao
Part IV. How to study classification:
8. Modern artificial methods and raw data
9. How to study classification: consensus techniques and general classifications
10. How to study classification – 'total evidence' vs. 'consensus', character congruence vs. taxonomic congruence, simultaneous analysis vs. partitioned data
11. How to study classification: natural methods I – consensus revisited
12. How to study classification: natural methods II – beyond method, the philosophy of three-item analysis
Part V. Beyond classification:
13. Beyond classification: how to study phylogeny
14. The separation of classification and phylogenetics
15. Further myths and misunderstandings
David M. Williams is a researcher at the Natural History Museum, London, UK, specializing in diatom (Bacillariophyta) taxonomy and biogeography. He is the current president of the Systematics Association, London. He has written over 240 scientific papers and 10 books.
Malte C. Ebach is Senior Lecturer in Biogeography at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He has published extensively on the history, theory and methodology of biological systematics, taxonomy and biogeography. He is Associate Editor for the Journal of Biogeography, Australian Systematic Botany and Editor of the CRC Biogeography Book Series.