The Roles and Values of Systematics (SPECIFIC ROLES OF SYSTEMATICS…
The Roles and Values of Systematics
Major Roles of Systematics
To classify biodiversity -Classification makes biodiversity accessible to the other biological disciplines.
To determine by means of comparison what the unique properties of each species and higher taxon are.
To determine what properties certain taxa have in common
The Importance of Systematics
Provides a foundation for basic and applied scientists
seeking to understand life in all its variety and
to preserve and manage it for future generations
Systematics is the keystone to Understanding Biodiversity
Systematics is the science by which species are recognised
Understanding and analyzing species and their relationships is essential in order to evaluate biodiversity
The Contributions of Systematics to Biology
The discovery and descriptionof new species
The determination of their characteristics and relationship to other species
The use of these data to form classifications and predictive information retrieval systems
SPECIFIC ROLES OF SYSTEMATICS
Systematists identify and document Earth’s biodiversity, and organize this information in a form that can be utilized by others
Systematics is the study of the history of life on Earth.
Phylogenetic patterns that result from systematic studies, and classifications derived from them, have predictive value
Systematics provides independent evidence for patterns of geological change
Because biodiversity collections are intended to be permanent, and are assembled over time, they provide a way of documenting change in the world’s flora and fauna, and can therefore provide supporting evidence for changes in environment
Systematists and systematic collections provide identification services and documentation of identity
The importance of correct identification cannot be overstated -- when a life, for instance, hangs in the balance depending on whether the plant or mushroom that has been ingested is poisonous or not, this service is critical.
Systematics provides a basis for biodiversity conservation priorities
With increasing pressures from a growing world population and resulting pressure on biotic resources, we now and in the future have to make difficult decisions about what parts of the Earth will be maintained in a “natural” state in order to conserve the biodiversity present there.
Indirect contribution of Systematics
Maintenance of our ecosystem
Exploitation of biodiversity
Other types of biological research are essentially valueless if their subjects are misidentified, since closely related taxa can have very different properties and generalizations must be made carefully.
The only lasting way to document identity is to deposit a voucher specimen in an appropriate collection.
Hence, documentation is important so that subsequent investigators can confirm identifications.
Studies that do not utilize this service will have less value in the long term because of the impossibility of verifying identification.