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Plant Taxonomy: The Systematic Evaluation of Comparative Data

By: Tod F Stuessy(Author)

568 pages, 60 b/w photos, 16 colour & 105 b/w illustrations, 16 tables

Columbia University Press

Hardback | Jan 2009 | Edition: 2 | #176267 | ISBN-13: 9780231147125
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £84.99 $111/€97 approx

About this book

The field of plant taxonomy has transformed rapidly over the past fifteen years, especially with regard to improvements in cladistic analysis and the use of new molecular data. The second edition of this popular resource reflects these far-reaching and dramatic changes by adding more than 3,000 new references and figures. Synthesizing current research and trends, Plant Taxonomy: The Systematic Evaluation of Comparative Data now provides the most up-to-date overview of plant taxonomy in relation to monographic, biodiversity, and evolutionary studies, and continues to be an essential resource for students and scholars.

Plant Taxonomy: The Systematic Evaluation of Comparative Data introduces students to the philosophical and theoretical aspects of plant taxonomy. The text is divided into two parts: Part 1 explains the principles of taxonomy, including the importance of systematics, characters, concepts of categories, and different approaches to biological classification. Part 2 outlines the different types of data used in plant taxonomic studies with suggestions on their efficacy and modes of presentation and evaluation. This section also lists the equipment and financial resources required for gathering each type of data. References throughout Plant Taxonomy: The Systematic Evaluation of Comparative Data illuminate the historical development of taxonomic terminology and philosophy while citations offer further study. More than just a reference, Plant Taxonomy: The Systematic Evaluation of Comparative Data is also a personal story of what it means to be a practicing taxonomist and to view these activities within a meaningful conceptual framework.

Tod F. Stuessy recalls the progression of his own work and thoughts and shares his belief that the most creative taxonomy is done by those who have a strong conceptual grasp of their own research.

"This is an essential book for plant taxonomy and a masterful synthesis that few in our field would have the ability to produce. It embraces the holistic, synthetic viewpoint that students must adopt if our science is to progress. Stuessy's prose is a model of structure, precision, and clarity, and he illustrates points with cogent analogies and pertinent anecdotes. I look forward to putting a copy on my bookshelf."
- Thomas G. Lammers, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.


Preface to the first edition
Preface to the second edition
Acknowledgments for the first edition
Acknowledgments for the second edition

Section 1. The Meaning of Classification
Chapter 1. A few definitions
Chapter 2. The relevance of systematics
Chapter 3. The importance and universality classification
Chapter 4. Characters

Section 2. Different approaches to biological classification
Chapter 5. The anatomy of classification and the artificial approach
Chapter 6. Natural and phyletic approaches
Chapter 7. Phenetic approach
Chapter 8. Cladistic approach
Chapter 9. Evaluation of the three major approaches and explicit phyletics

Section 3. Concepts of Categories
Chapter 10. The taxonomic hierarchy
Chapter 11. Species
Chapter 12. Subspecies, variety, and form
Chapter 13. Genus
Chapter 14. Family and higher categories

Section 4. Types of data
Chapter 15. Morphology
Chapter 16. Anatomy
Chapter 17. Embryology
Chapter 18. Palynology
Chapter 19. Phytochemistry
Chapter 20. Cytology and cytogenetics
Chapter 21. Molecular biology
Chapter 22. Genetics and population genetics
Chapter 23. Reproductive biology
Chapter 24. Ecology

Section 5. Handling of Data
Chapter 25. Gathering and storage of data
Chapter 26. Presentation of data

Literature Cited
Author Index
Subject Index

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Tod F. Stuessy is professor and chair of the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany at the University of Vienna, Austria. He also serves as the Secretary-General of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy. The author or editor of nine books and over 250 research papers, he is the recipient of the Asa Gray Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Merit and Centennial Awards from the Botanical Society of America, and Corresponding Membership from the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

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