EEB330H1 Lecture Notes - Systematic Botany, Swallowtail Butterfly, Araliaceae

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EEB330H1 S
Systematic Botany - James Eckenwalder
Lecture 1
January 15, 2013
Some lecture documents and all lab documents will be found here
Term Tests: February 5, March 12, April 4 = each worth 16% and covers lectures and labs. First
test is more terminology, second is more nomenclature problems. The third one are taxonomic
Taxonomic Review: March 21 = worth 16%
Final Lab Report: April 4 = worth 16%
Lab Participation: worth 20%
Every organism has to be taxonomic.
There are two ways to classify things: natural and artificial. Artificial classification is imposed
on things that are classified and serves a given purpose. The criteria for this classification suits
the purpose and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the thing being classified. Natural
classification comes from something inherent or naturally occurring to the organism. For
example classifications of discovery.
For example, sounds can be classified as phonetic or in defined letters (phonemic). One is
based on an arbitrary outside classification (phonetic) and the other is the intent at making those
sounds (phonemic).
Natural classifications are emic and artificial classifications are also known as etic.
Artificial classifications are also special purpose classifications. Natural classifications have no
particular purpose and is generally thought to be best as a general purpose classification.
This allows you to find out stuff you don't know already through the classification. What can
you find out about an organism just by knowing some of its properties.
General purpose classifications are also predictive.
Most herbivorous insects are host specific and recognizes plants through chemical compounds.
Most Swallowtail butterflies feed in the Rutaceae species of plants but can also feed on
Araliaceae plant because they share the same compound.
Artificial classifications are based on a single or a few characters. In contrast, natural
classification are based on many classifications.
Figure 1-1 - Taxonomy
Taxonomic Fundamentals
When we first encounter a species, our first activity will be to identify it.
Taxon refers to a taxonomic group of any rank
Through identification, we are looking for what taxa the organism belongs to. We may attempt
to use keys. The attempt to identify is based on similarities and differences within the keys.
If you are not confident in the keys, you go to a collection, in this case a herbarium to verify
the identification keys.
The next process of naming is classification. This is the process by which you're
making/discovering the groups. A natural classification insists that there are in fact groups to
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