BOT101: Systematics

Systematics: the study of biodiversity and evolutionary history on Earth.

1. Taxonomy: naming & classification system

binomials: species names
type specimen: a reference organism
taxa (taxon): a taxonomic group of any rank: species, genus, family, class
Carl Linnaeus developed the binomial and hierarchical system of classification (AKA the Linnaen Classification System)

EXAMPLE:   Zea mays (Corn)

Species: Zea mays
Genus: Zea
Family: Poaceae
Order: Poales/Commelinales
Class: Monocotyledones
Phylum: Anthophyta
Kingdom: Plantae
Domain: Eukaryotes

Here’s a way to remember the hierarchy ⇒ King Phillip Came Over For Grape Soda

A species name, or binomial, includes BOTH the genus (Zea) & specific epithet (mays). Binomials are always italicized and the specific epithet is never capitalized.

2. Phylogeny: system of ancestor/descendent relationships between taxa.

phylogeny is relative to the taxa or group in question.

Monophyletic (Clade): a group with a common ancestor and ALL descendents
Paraphyletic (Grade): a group with a common ancestor and SOME descendents
Polyphyletic: a group without a common ancestor


Apomorphy: refers to a special or derived trait/character
: a shared derived trait/character
Plesiomorphy: refers to a primitive or ancestral trait/character
Symplesiomorphy: a shared primitive trait/character

Homoplasy: a trait/character evolved independently in 2 places

| WHY? |

1.  Each species has a unique name for simplicity and ease of communication
2.  Bringing order to a YUGE amount of biodiversity
3.  To show evolutionary relationships (whos related to who)

Feel free to leave comments, questions, or any concerns


Adventure Awaits 01: Under The Sea

W e l c o m e  t o . . .  

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 


“Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert. The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas.”

~ CA Parks & Recreation


Continue reading “Adventure Awaits 01: Under The Sea”

Our Next Adventure

One → Oregon

Coastal 101
Siuslaw National Forest (Camping)
Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area
Astoria, OR

Two → Washington

The 101
Olympic National Forest
Olympic National Park
Tacoma, WA  (Airport)

Three → Alaska

Fairbanks, AK
Denali National Park and Preserve