Biological Systematics: Principles and Applications

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Cornell University Press, 2000 - Science - 236 pages
2 Reviews
Most students who take a course in biological systematics do so to learn how to construct a data matrix and generate and evaluate a tree of phylogenetic relationships. Biological Systematics: Principles and Applications, by Randall T. Schuh, provides a welcome tool for these students and their instructors: it is a comprehensive and completely new textbook, the first of its kind since 1981. Systematics, the study of the reconstruction of the history of life, forms the underlying basis for organizing the knowledge of biology; cladistics is the diagrammatic method of charting phylogenetic relationships over time among evolving life forms. Cladistics analysis, the key tool used in this book, is also of great use outside pure systematic studies, and interests many students of population biology, ecology, epidemiology, and natural resources.Suitable for both graduate and advanced undergraduate students, Biological Systematics: Principles and Applications covers the core material for courses in biological systematics, with equal emphasis on both botany and zoology. It includes sections on the history and resources of the field; biological nomenclature; the theory of homology, character analysis, and computer algorithms; and the application of the results of systematic studies in the areas of biological classification, biogeography, adaptation and co-evolution, and biodiversity and conservation.

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Note that there is a revised and updated second edition of this book, by R. T. Schuh and A. V. Z. Brower, 2009, Cornell University Press.

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A extremely thick book, where each page is filled with important and useful information. It is above all a very comprehensive work, and a very reliable tool, one of the best I ever read or heard obout in this field, and a mandatory testament to keep in a phylogenist nightstand.


Introduction to Systematics
Systematics and the Philosophy of Science
Homology and Rooting
Character Analysis and Selection of Taxa
Chapters QuantitativeCladisticMethods
Evaluating Results
Formal Classifications and Systematic Databases
Historical Biogeography and HostParasite Coevolution
Subject Index
Author Index

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