Describing Species: Practical Taxonomic Procedure for Biologists by Judith Winston

Describing Species: Practical Taxonomic Procedure for Biologists

byJudith Winston

Kobo ebook | April 20, 2012

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New species are discovered every day-and cataloguing all of them has grown into a nearly insurmountable task world-wide. Now, this definitive reference manual acts as a style guide for writing and filing species descriptions. New collecting techniques and new technology have led to a dramatic increase in the number of species that are discovered. Explorations of unstudied regions and new habitats for almost any group of organisms can result in a large number of new species discoveries-and hence the need to be described. Yet there is no one source a student or researcher can readily consult to learn the basic practical aspects of taxonomic procedures.

Species description can present a variety of difficulties: Problems arise when new species are not given names because their discoverers do not know how to write a formal species description or when these species are poorly described. Biologists may also have to deal with nomenclatural problems created by previous workers or resulting from new information generated by their own research. This practical resource for scientists and students contains instructions and examples showing how to describe newly discovered species in both the animal and plant kingdoms.

With special chapters on publishing taxonomic papers and on ecology in species description, as well as sections covering subspecies, genus-level, and higher taxa descriptions, Describing Species enhances any writer's taxonomic projects, reports, checklists, floras, faunal surveys, revisions, monographs, or guides.

The volume is based on current versions of the International Codes of Zoological and Botanical Nomenclature and recognizes that systematics is a global and multicultural exercise. Though Describing Species has been written for an English-speaking audience, it is useful anywhere Taxonomy is spoken and will be a valuable tool for professionals and students in zoology, botany, ecology, paleontology, and other fields of biology.

Judith E. Winston is director of research at the Virginia Museum of Natural History and a former curator and chair of the Department of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History.
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Title:Describing Species: Practical Taxonomic Procedure for BiologistsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 20, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231506651

ISBN - 13:9780231506656

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction
Describing the Living World
Why Is Species Description Necessary?
How New Species Are Described
Scope and Organization of This Book
The Pleasures of Systematics
2. Biological Nomenclature
Humans as Taxonomists
Biological Nomenclature
Folk Taxonomy
Binomial Nomenclature
Development of Codes of Nomenclature
The Current Codes of Nomenclature
Future of the Codes
II. Recognizing Species
3. Species and Their Discovery
Species Concepts
Processes Affecting Speciation
Taxonomic Characters
Examples of Ways in Which Biologists Have Discovered New Species
4. Establishing Identity: The Literature Search
Mistakes and Bad Examples
Establishing Identity
Where to Find the Taxonomic Literature
How to Read the Taxonomic Literature
Species Descriptions
Taxonomic Literature Searching on the Internet
5. Establishing Identity: Using Museum Collections
Collections, Museums, and Herbaria
Locating Material
Borrowing Material
Type Material
Visiting Collections: What to Expect and How to Behave
Cooperation with Systematists
III. Writing Species Descriptions
6. Species Descriptions in Taxonomy
Reasons for Writing Species Descriptions
Different Kinds of Taxonomic Publications
Form of the Descriptive Paper
7. Headings and Synonymies
Description Headings
New Species
Types of Synonymies
Terms Used in Synonymies
Different Kinds of Synonymies
References in Headings and Synonymies
8. Naming Species: Etymology
Brief Review of Latin and Greek
Basic Rules of Species Names
Descriptive Species Names
Geographic Species Names
Commemorative Species Names
Nonsense Species Names
The Etymology Section
9. Type and Voucher Material
Rationale for Types and Vouchers
Rules of Nomenclature Regarding Types
Selection of Types and Vouchers
Composition of Type Material
Documentation of Type Material
Deposition of Types
Type Section
10. Diagnosis
What Is a Diagnosis?
Diagnosis in Zoological Taxonomy
Diagnosis in Botanical Taxonomy
What Is a Diagnostic Character?
The Diagnosis Section: Animals
The Diagnosis Section: Plants
Additional Uses for Diagnoses
11. Description Section
Descriptive Writing
Information Used in the Description Section
Writing the Description
Telegraphic Style
The Description Section: Animals (Examples of Style for Different Groups)
The Description Section: Plants (Examples of Style for Different Groups)
Illustrating Taxonomic Descriptions
12. Taxonomic Discussion Section
Purpose of the Discussion Section
Discussion in Descriptions of New Species
Evidence to Include
Composite Papers
The Discussion Section in Other Species Descriptions
Taxonomic Ethics
13. The Ecology Section
Ecology in Species Descriptions
Analysis of Ecological Variation
Field Records: Getting the Most from Field Work
Ecological Information from Museum Specimens
The Ecology Section
14. Occurrence and Distribution
Distributional Information in Species Descriptions
Parameters of Species Distributions
The Distribution Section
Distribution Papers
15. Material Examined
Practical Value
In Original Description
In Other Descriptions
Material Examined Section
Material Examined: Botanical Taxonomy
The Material Examined Paper
16. Publication
Criteria of Publication: Zoology
Criteria of Publication: Botany
Preparation of the Manuscript
Submission of the Manuscript
Final Revision and Publication
Journals That Publish Taxonomic Papers
IV. Beyond Species Description
17. Subspecies
Why Are Subspecies Important?
Infraspecific Variation
Rules of Infraspecific Nomenclature: Zoology
Rules of Infraspecific Nomenclature: Botany
Deciding When to Name an Infraspecific Taxon
Writing Infraspecific Descriptions
18. Genus-Level Description and Revision
The Genus Concept
When to Describe a New Genus
Generic Names
Publication of Generic Names
Generic Types
Examples of Generic-Level Description
Problems Caused by Generic Revision
Infrageneric Categories and Names
19. Keys
Keys in Taxonomy
Key Characters
Single-Access (Analytical or Sequential) Keys
Multiaccess Keys (Polyclaves)
Interactive Identification
Key Construction
Computerized Key Construction
20. Description of Higher Taxa
Family Concepts and Their Use in Taxonomy
Practical Significance in Biology
Describing Families
Family-Level Descriptions: Examples
Redescriptions of Family-Level Taxa
Descriptions of Taxa Above the Family Level
Problems with Nomenclature of Higher Taxa
21. Common Problems
Missing Types
Necessary Name Changes
Replacement Names: Homonymy
Conservation of a Name
New Combinations
Lack of Information
22. Further Studies in Systematics
Evolutionary Systematics
Molecular Systematics
Comparative Biology
Literature Cited

Editorial Reviews

... should be read by all students on biodiversity courses.