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Teaching Documents about Classification and Nomenclature


J. David Allan, School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan: Lectures Notes, Fall Semester, Introduction To Global Change, The Process of Speciation.

John Alroy, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara: How many named species are valid? PNAS, vol. 99: 3706-3711, 2002.

John R. Anderson, Georgia Perimeter College Geology: The World of Geology, Prefix/Suffix Meanings.

Francisco J. Ayala et al. (2000): Variation and evolution in plants and microorganisms: Toward a new synthesis 50 years after Stebbins. PNAS, 97: 6941-6944. Scroll to: "Trends and Patterns in Plant Evolution".

Prepared by Ralph Bailey, Garden Editor, House & Garden (Copyright 1948, 1962); by the Literary Guild of America, Inc. (website hosted by Chuck Walker's Traveling Herbarium): The Self-pronouncing Dictionary of Plant Names: abbreviatus to durius. (Revised Edition).

M.E. Barkworth, Utah State University: Notes for Plant Taxonomy. Some lecture notes (under construction). Go to:
Wondrous Events in Evolution.
(Powerpoint presentatation).

R.M. Bateman and J. Hilton (2009): Palaeobotanical systematics for the phylogenetic age: applying organ-species, form-species and phylogenetic species concepts in a framework of reconstructed fossil and extant whole-plants. Taxon, 58: 1254-1280.

Günter Bechly, Böblingen: Glossary of Phylogenetic Systematics. with a critic of mainstream cladism. This terminology of phylogenetic systematics is a revised translation of a handout-manuscript for different courses on metazoan morphology, systematics and phylogeny at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tübingen, Germany.

Lonna Beers, Library and Learning Resources Center, Montgomery College, Conroe, Texas: Journey into the World of Cladistics.

! Peter Bengtson (1988): Open Nomenclature. Palaeontology, Volume 31, Part 1, 1988, Pages 223-227. Accessible through the www.palass.org website.

! Biodiversity Heritage Library. Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined to form the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project. The group is developing a strategy and operational plan to digitize the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections. For the first time in history, the core of our natural history and herbaria library collections will be available to a truly global audience. Browse by titles, authors, subjects, names, map, or year.
Go to: Plants. Currently mor then 1500 titles tagged with "Plants". Superbly done!
Comment: Using "View text" is much quicker (for a first glance) then "View image".

Biology Encyclopedia (by Advameg, Inc.): History of Taxonomy.

Biology-Nation. This website provides resources for anyone with an interest in biology. (see also Biology-Nation.com Whois Record). Many links lead to Wikipedia. Go to: Introduction to Taxonomy and Introduction to Cladistics.

BookRags, a research location for students of any age: Taxonomy.

Jane M. Bowles, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Western Ontario: The Names of Plants. Guide to plant collection and identification.

! Derek Briggs and Peter Crowther (eds.), Earth Pages, Blackwell Publishing: Paleobiology: A Synthesis (PDF files). Series of concise articles from over 150 leading authorities from around the world. Navigate from the content file. There are no restrictions on downloading this material. Excellent! Worth checking out:
Part 1. Major Events in the History of Life, Pages 1-92.
Part 2. The Evolutionary Process and the Fossil Record, Pages 93-210.
Part 5. Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Biostratigraphy, Pages 415-490.
Go to:
Major Events in the History of Life,
The Evolutionary Process and the Fossil Record, and
Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Biostratigraphy.

Philip Cantino et al., Department of Environmental and Plant Biology, Ohio University, Athens, OH: PhyloCode. The PhyloCode is a formal set of rules governing phylogenetic nomenclature. It is designed to name the parts of the tree of life by explicit reference to phylogeny.

Steven M. Carr, Genetics, Evolution, and Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada: Principles of Systematics. Lecture notes with links.

Philippe Choler, Laboratoire de Biologie des Populations d'Altitude, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble: Biologie Evolutive Végétale. Concepts and methods in evolutionary biology (in French). Navigate from "Plan du cours" (access to about 335 slides).

Regine Claßen-Bockhoff (2001): Plant Morphology: The Historic Concepts of Wilhelm Troll, Walter Zimmermann and Agnes Arber. Free PDF file, Annals of Botany, 88: 1153-1172.

Christopher J. Cleal and Barry A. Thomas (2010): Botanical nomenclature and plant fossils, Abstract, Taxon, 59: 261-268.

Christopher J. Cleal and Barry A. Thomas (2010): (101-103) Proposals to modify the provisions in the Code for naming plant fossils. Taxon, 59: 303-313. The full text is free.

Deep Green - Green Plant Phylogeny Research Coordination Group (supported by National Science Foundation). The "Tree of Life" for plants. Two interactive versions are given: one is for reasearch and one is for teaching.

Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF). CETAF is a networked consortium of scientific institutions in Europe formed to promote training, research and understanding of systematic biology and palaeobiology. Go to: Links to taxonomic organisations, programs and initiatives.

Cyberinfrastructure for Phylogenetic Research (CIPRES). Building the Tree of Life: A National Resource for Phyloinformatics and Computational Phylogenetics. CIPRES is a collaboration of many american museums and institutions. Go to:
! Getting to the Roots of Plant Evolution (Powerpoint presentation). See also the Exercise Handout (PDF file).

Cyberinfrastructure for Phylogenetic Research (CIPRES). Building the Tree of Life: A National Resource for Phyloinformatics and Computational Phylogenetics. CIPRES is a collaboration of many american museums and institutions. Go to:
What is Phylogeny? An introduction to phylogenetic trees and what they represent. See also: What can phylogenies be used for? and about the practical importance of the Tree of Life (a brochure from the National Science Foundation, in PDF).

! Erling Dorf (project continued by the Yale Peabody Museum’s Division of Paleobotany; electronic release 1.0, Jan 11, 2006 by L.J. Hickey, L.S. Klise, and W.A. Green): The Compendium Index of North American Mesozoic and Cenozoic Type Fossil Plants (PDF files). This card catalog contains illustrations and descriptions of fossil plant species. Based on variables such as leaf shape and major venation type these cards are arranged into sets of numbered morphological categories. It presently covers fossil floras from North America, including Greenland, starting in the Triassic and extending to the Pleistocene. Over 93 references have been added in the last 20 years, and the Compendium Index has grown from 10,000 cards to approximately 20,000 cards, with 9,881 entries from 235 references dating from 1866 to 2003. Freely distributable for non-commercial purposes.
Table of contents:
README.txt---this file, containing license and general information
CI.csv, CI.xls---the data files in tab-delimited text format and Excel (.xls) format
CI.txt---an ascii file giving the database structure
CICflat_key.pdf---a flat description of the Compendium Index Categories that originally appeared in Leaf Architecture Working Group (1999)
CICthumbnails.pdf---small illustrations of the Compendium Index Categories that originally appeared in Leaf Architecture Working Group (1999)
CICdichotomous_key.pdf---a dichotomous key to the Compendium Index Categories that appears here and in Green and Hickey (in press)
age_codes.pdf---a key to the age codes used in the database
references.pdf---an alphabetical list of the publications cited in the database
CICeps.tar.gz---a gzipped tar archive with high-quality eps representing Compendium Index Cateogries 100--155. A future release will include all the images shown as thumbnails in CICthumbnails.pdf

Stephen R. Downie and Kenneth R. Robertson, Life Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne: Systematics of Plants. This course introduces the principles and methods of identifying, naming, and classifying flowering plants. It includes a survey of selected flowering plant families and provides information on their interrelationships. Go to: Digital Flowers.

Laura Drumm, National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML): Scientific Classification.

Alexander Edens, Hartnell College, Salinas, CA: Biology Tutorials. Tutorials on several important biology topics. Powerpoint presentations. Go to: Taxonomy and Phylogeny.

Niles Eldredge, American Museum of Natural History: Spectrum of Life. 28 major groups of organisms organized into basic divisions of life, explained in a nutshell.

! Joe Felsenstein, Department of Genome Sciences and Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle: PHYLIP. PHYLIP is a free package of programs for inferring phylogenies. It is distributed as source code, documentation files, and a number of different types of executables. Go to: Phylogeny Programs. The programs listed here include both free and non-free ones.

Mark A. Garland, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, Florida: Scientific Names of Plants. A pronunciation guide for scientific Latin. See also:
What Scientific Names of Plants Mean.

Thomas Gaßner (Evolutive Transformationen und Faunenschnitte), Natural History Museum Berlin: Die phylogenetische Systematik - eine Einführung (in German).

Die Globale Taxonomie Initiative GTI, Nationale Kontaktstelle Deutschland (part of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CBD, hosted by Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart). The objectives of the GTI are the provision of sufficient taxonomic capacities to fullfill the aims of the CBD, i.e. the protection and sustainable use of the components of biodiversity. Go to: Identification helps and keys for Animals, Plants and Fungi from all regions.

! Stephen Jay Gould: "Ontogeny and Phylogeny" (Harvard University Press 1977). Kittenish website, difficult to set a link, go to: Stephen Jay Gould Archive, menu left hand side, select "Cyber Library", click "Ontogeny and Phylogeny" (hidden in the book shelf, right hand side), click "Table of Contents". See also:
Book Review (by Danny Yee).

Stephen Jay Gould Archive (sponsored by Art Science Research Laboratory): Cyber Library, Harvard Course, B16: History of Earth and Life (kittenish website, difficult to set a link). Go to (PDF files):
Lab 1: The Invertebrate Phyla,
Lab 2: The Fossil Record,
Lab 3: Communities through Time, and
Lab 4: Variation and Evolution. See also:
B16: History of Earth and Life, Source Books.

Mikko Haaramo, Helsinki (website is physically situated on the Finnish Museum of the Natural History server): Mikko's Phylogeny Archive. An archive of various phylogenetic trees. Go to: Viridiplantae - Green Plants (after Parker, 1982, and McCourt, Chapman, Buchheim & Mishler, 1996-1998, "The Tree of Life").

R. Hays Cummins, Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University: The "Nuts and Bolts" of Taxonomy and Classification.

Yohanes A. K. Honu, Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: Plants and Society. This course is designed to provide non-biology majors with an introduction to the basic principles of plant biology and ecology, as well as historical and modern uses of plants by humans. Go to: Plant Systematics and Evolution.

! The Index Nominum Genericorum ING (U.S. National Herbarium, Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution). The ING is a compilation of generic names published for all plants covered by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Excellent!

! The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). The goal is to create an easily accessible database with reliable information on species names and their hierarchical classification. The ITIS includes documented taxonomic information of flora and fauna from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

! International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Adopted by the Sixteenth International Botanical Congress St Louis, Missouri, July-August 1999.

! International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature: The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (4th edition, 1999).

Mark Isaak, About.com: Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature.

W.S. Judd, C.S. Campbell, E.A. Kellogg, and P.F. Stevens: A Phylogenetic Approach, Chapter 2: Plant Systematics. PDF file, 2nd Edition, 2002. Sinauer Associates, Inc.

M. Alan Kazlev, Kheper website, Australia: The Classification of Living Organisms. See also: Prokaryotes.

! The Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature (by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew): A database of references relevant to the taxonomy of flowering plants, gymnosperms and ferns.

Michael Knee, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State University, Columbus: General Plant Biology Online Resources. Lecture notes. Go to: Overview of classification.

A.H. Knoll (2012): Systems Paleobiology. In PDF. See also
here (vimeo.com), or
there (YouTube).

Sophia Kossida, Principles of Protein Structure Using the Internet: Molecular Phylogenetics.

Estelle Levetin and Karen McMahon, University of Tulsa (McGraw-Hill Companies): Plants and Society. McGraw-Hill has worked to create a variety of tools and resources to accompany the third edition. Go to: Web Links, Chapter 8: Plant Systematics and Evolution.

! Jere H. Lipps, University of California, Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley, CA: The Decline of Reason? About science and anti-science.

Jonathan B. Losos and D. Luke Mahler (2010): Chapter 15, Adaptive radiation: the interaction of ecological opportunity, adaptation, and speciation. PDF file.

The Natural History Museum London: Nature online > The science of natural history > Taxonomy and systematics What´s in a name? A history of taxonomy by Sandra Knapp.
See also: Nature online > The science of natural history > Natural history biographies.

University of London External System, London, UK (This is is a division of the University of London that grants external degrees: Study in Economics, Management, Finance and Social Sciences (EMFSS), Biogeography. Go to: Chapter 2: Properties of species, genera and families. This PDF file briefly reviews the classification systems used to describe the kinds and number of species on earth.

James R. Manhart, Texas A&M Bioinformatics Working Group, Texas A&M University: Taxonomy of Flowering Plants. Lecture notes. See also here.

! S.C. Matthews (1973): Notes on open Nomenclature and on synonymy lists. Palaeontology, Volume 16, Part 4, 1973, Pages 713-719. Accessible through the www.palass.org website.

Richard M. McCourt, Department of Botany Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia; R. L. Chapman, Mark Buchheim and Brent D. Mishler, Tree of Life Project: Green plants. Green plants as defined here includes a broad assemblage of photosynthetic organisms that all contain chlorophylls a and b, store their photosynthetic products as starch inside the double-membrane-bounded chloroplasts in which it is produced, and have cell walls made of cellulose. They include all organisms commonly known as green algae and land plants, including liverworts, mosses, ferns and other nonseed plants, and seed plants.

Michael McDarby, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Johnstown, NY: Classification Key, and Biological Classification.

Michigan Proficiency Exams: Need prefix suffix help? and The Suffix List.

D.C. Mildenhall, Geology Department, Victoria University of Wellington: The Selection of Lectotypes in Palaeobotany. Tuatara: Volume 17, Issue 3, December 1969 (!)

Ian Miller and Rose Prevec, Palaeontologia Electronica Volume 9, Issue 2 (2006): Palaeobotany in the Digital Age: Unearthing the Future of Taxonomy.

! Daniel L. Nickrent, Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois: Elements of Plant Systematics. Lecture notes. Topics are the principles of plant classification including history, nomenclature, specimen collection and preservation, current systematic methodologies, and a survey of major plant families. See also:
Links to Other Plant Systematics Courses on the WWWeb, Useful References for Plant Systematics and Evolution, and Elements of Plant Systematics References.

Daniel Nickrent & Walter Sundberg, Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois: Plants and Society. Lecture notes. This course is designed to provide non-biology majors with an introduction to the basic principles of plant biology and ecology, as well as historical and modern uses of plants by humans. Go to: Plant Systematics and Evolution. The history of taxonomy, the naming of plants, the evolutionary influences on classification, etc.

! Dan H. Nicolson, Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC: Conserved and rejected plant names: proposals and disposals. An index to the plant names proposed for conservation or rejection since the first proposals in 1892.

Paul E. Olsen, Matt Gompper, and Kevin Griffin, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia College, Columbia University, Palisades, NY: The Life System Syllabus. The "Life System" component provides an integrated view of the biological component of the Earth system. It emphasizes the history of life, biogeochemical cycles, biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and physiology at the microbe to global scale. It also stresses the biotic systems, in contrast to the physical systems, as maintaining the non-equilibrium state of the Earth's surface. Go to: Species and the Hierarchy of Life.

Peter Ommundsen, Selkirk College, Canada: Pronunciation of Biological Latin. Including taxonomic names of plants and animals. See also here (PDF file).

! Dennis O´Neil, Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos, California: Classification of Living Things. An introduction to the principles of taxonomy with a focus on human classification categories. In this tutorial you will be learning about the Linnaean system of classification used in the biological sciences to describe and categorize all living things.

Jeffrey D. Palmer et al. (2004): The plant tree of life: an overview and some points of view. PDF file, American Journal of Botany, 91: 1437-1445. See also here.

R. Toby Pennington et al. (2004): Introduction and synthesis: Plant phylogeny and the origin of major biomes. PDF file, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B, Biol. Sci., 359: 1455-1464. See also here.

John D. Pinto, Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside Systematics and Biological Characteristics.

! A.E. Radford, W.C. Dickison, J.R. Massey, & C.R. Bell (Harper and Row, New York): Vascular Plant Systematics. This book was written as a reference text for basic courses in taxonomy and as a source book of information, procedures and references for ecosystematics, biosystematics, phylosystematics and chemosystematics. It includes:
(1) an essentially synoptical treatment of the evidence, principles, and concepts considered fundamental to vascular plant taxonomic studies and research;
(2) organized laboratory and field exercises and problems basic to systematics;
(3) useable and useful techniques;
(4) summaries of terminology pertinent to taxonomy;
(5) relevant bibliographies and indices; and (6) information on systematic facilities.
Searching images you may navigate from here. See also:
Section B: General Characters and Character States, A. Location or Environmental Position. Classification based on position of organs or parts in their surrounding environment.

James L. Reveal, Norton-Brown Herbarium, University of Maryland: Principles of Plant Taxonomy. Lecture notes.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Plant Names (PDF file). A Kew information sheet.

Royal Ontario Museum, University of Toronto: The Muskoka Flora - What are species and sub-specific taxa? Learn the taxonomic identification beginning with species, continuing through subspecies, varieties, and forma. This site primarily focuses on the taxonomy of vascular plants.

John Rushin, Missouri Western State University:
History of Plant Taxonomy.
Plant Taxonomy (Systematics).
Powerpoint presentations.

J. Rust (2007): Die Bedeutung von Fossilien für phylogenetische Rekonstruktionen. In German (PDF file). Go to PDF page 75. In: Species, Phylogeny and Evolution, Phylogenetisches Symposium Göttingen.

ScaleNet, Background Information: Glossary. Glossary of terms pertaining to nomenclature.

H. Schneider (2007): Plant morphology as the cornerstone to the integration of fossil and extant taxa in phylogenetic systematics. In PDF, go to PDF page 65. In: Species, Phylogeny and Evolution, Phylogenetisches Symposium Göttingen.

Bob Sheehy, Department of Biology, Radford University,Virginia: Molecular Evolution, Phylogenetics and Genetics. A link directory.

Mark E. Siddall, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY: Phylogenetics: just methods. Various methods in systematics.

! Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB): Introductory Glossary of Cladistic Terms.

! P.F. Stevens and Hilary Davis, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. The focus of this site is on angiosperms and emphasis is placed on plant families. You can also navigate from the Orders- or the Families-website. Go to:
EVOLUTION OF LAND PLANTS.

! Department of Phanerogamic Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History: Linnean herbarium (S-LINN): Superbly done!

Douglas Theobald, TalkOrigins Archive: Evidences for Macroevolution, Part 1: The Unique Universal Phylogenetic Tree.

! M. Vorontsova, Herbarium, Kew Gardens: Big changes for names of algae, fungi, plants and plant fossils.

Wayne's Word: The Five Kingdoms Of Life. Brief information about the five major kingdoms, including the Monera, the Protista (Protoctista), the Fungi, the Plantae, and the Animalia.

Webb, C.O., D.D. Ackerly, M.A. McPeek, and M.J. Donoghue: Phylogenies and community ecology. PDF file, Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 2002, 33: 475-505.

Campbell O. Webb and Michael Donoghue, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Yale University: Phylomatic. A database for applied phylogenetics. The online software takes your list of taxa, and first tries to match them by genus name to the megatree.

! Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Biological classification.
Systematics. Scientific classification.
Taxonomy.
Cladistics.
Phylogenetics.
Phylocode.
Botanical nomenclature.

The Willi Hennig Society: Education. A link directory.

Steven J. Wolf, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Stanislaus: Flowering Plants. Lecture notes about plant taxonomy and systematics, history of plant taxonomy, identification keys used to identify plants, plant nomenclature, etc. Go to: History of Plant Taxonomy.

Doug Yanega: Curious Scientific Names. Some weird and wacky scientific names in biological nomenclature.










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