What is Taxonomy?
Taxonomy is the theoretical basis of classification including its principles, procedures and rules. So, Taxonomy helps in laying down the principles of classification and two main aspects taxonomy are nomenclature and classification.
It gives detailed information regarding the variety of biology. It provides the necessary information required in the other branches of biology. It also helps in determining physiology of organisms.
Types of Taxonomy:
From the various stages of classification the types of taxonomy are defined: -
i) Alpha (α) Taxonomy: - Another name of it is the classical taxonomy. It involves description and naming of organisms. It is the parent of other types of taxonomy.
ii) Beta (β) Taxonomy: - In addition to morphological description, it also involves consideration of affinities and their inter-relationship between separate group of species.
iii) Gama (ɣ) Taxonomy: - It is concerned with description, inter-relationship and evolution of one species from the other.
iv) Omega (Ω) Taxonomy: - It is the modern experimental taxonomy denoted by Epling, in which the taxonomic activities have been enriched with data from ecology, phyto-chemistry, phyto-geography, cyto-genetics and physiology coupled with adequate computation.
Taxonomic Hierarchy: -
What is taxonomic hierarchy? The taxonomic hierarchy is a systematic framework of classification in which taxonomic groups are arranged in a definite order from higher to lower groups and each of them excepting the lowest one includes the subordinate groups.
History of Hierarchy: -
Carrolus Linnaeus first adopted the hierarchic system of taxonomy classification in 1753. The succession groups are as follow:
i) The lowest major group, , representing plants and animals referred to as Species.
ii) The closely related species of plants and animals are placed in Genus.
iii) The related genera of plants and animals constitute a family.
iv) The families together are placed in Orders.
v) The orders of plants and animals constitute Classes.
vi) The classes together constitute Division in plants andPhylum in animals
vii) And finally the divisions or phyla together constitute a Kingdom.
Modern view of Hierarchy: -
In modern taxonomy, the diversity of plants and animals have increased with the reporting of new species and the seven taxonomic groups seems to be inadequate in the present day context, so newer groups like sub-species, cohorts have been created. Each of the existing groups has been further sub-divided using prefix like super, sub or infra etc. It is shown by Simpson (1945) that the present day the groups of taxonomy used to denote higher group of animals like mammals. They are as under:
Each of these groups is named Taxon. The definition of taxa is: A group of related organism recognised as a unit at any level of taxonomic hierarchy.
Scope of Taxonomy:
Taxonomy is one of the oldest sciences. It provides thorough knowledge of living species and their various forms. All the branches of biology are dependent on taxonomy for proper identification the species. It has proceeded further in present day, incorporating data from phytochemistry, cyto-genetics supported by proper computation. It has made easier to trace the evolution of particular species and their actual point of origin.