Earlier editions of this book have made substantial contributions to plant systematics courses at the upper-undergraduate and first year graduate level, with the first edition winning The New York Botanical Garden’s Henry Allan Gleason Award for outstanding recent publication in plant taxonomy, plant ecology or plant geography. This third edition continues to provide the basis for teaching an introduction to the morphology, evolution and classification of land plants. A foundation of the approach, methods, research goals, evidence and terminology of plant systematics are presented, along with the most recent knowledge of evolutionary relationships of plants and practical information vital to the field. In this new edition, the author includes greatly expanded treatments on families of flowering plants, as well as tropical trees (all with full-color plates), and an updated explanation of maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference algorithms. Chapters on morphology and plant nomenclature have also been enhanced with new material.
UNIT I SYSTEMATICS
1. Plant Systematics: An Overview
2. Phylogenetic Systematics
UNIT II EVOLUTION AND DIVERSITY OF PLANTS
3. Evolution and Diversity of Green and Land Plants
4. Evolution and Diversity of Vascular Plants
5. Evolution and Diversity of Woody and Seed Plants
6. Evolution of Flowering Plants
7. Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants: Amborellales, Nymphaeales, Austrobaileyales, Magnoliids, Ceratophyllales, and Monocots
8. Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants: Eudicots
UNIT III SYSTEMATIC EVIDENCE AND DESCRIPTIVE TERMINOLOGY
9. Plant Morphology Chapter
10. Plant Anatomy and Physiology
11. Plant Embryology
13. Plant Reproductive Biology
14. Plant Molecular Systematics
UNIT IV RESOURCES IN PLANT SYSTEMATICS
15. Plant Identification
16. Plant Nomenclature
17. Plant Collecting and Documentation
18. Herbaria and Data Information Systems
UNIT V SPECIES CONCEPTS AND CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
19. Species and Conservation in Systematics
Appendix 1 Plant Description
Appendix 2 Botanical Illustrations
Appendix 3 Scientific Journals in Plant Systematics
Appendix 4 Statistics and Morphometrics in Plant Systematics
Dr. Michael G. Simpson has been a professor of Biology at San Diego State University since 1986. His area of expertise is plant systematics, dealing with the description, identification, naming and classification of plants with the overriding goal of inferring the pattern of evolutionary history (phylogeny). Dr. Simpson has taught courses in Principles of Organismal Biology, Plant Systematics, Taxonomy of California Plants, Economic Botany, Genetics and Evolution, and Seminar in Systematics and Evolution. Additionally, he serves as the Curator of the SDSU Herbarium where he oversees the maintenance, organization, and use of the collection and facilitates additions to the herbarium. Currently, his field work in Chile and Argentina is supported in part by the National Geographic Society. In addition to publishing numerous articles in technical journals, Dr. Simpson has authored of the widely used textbook Plant Systematics.
Reviews of previous editions:
“Michael Simpson has achieved the Herculean task of bringing together within a single book the many subdisciplines of Botany that are embraced by the ever-broadening field of Plant Systematics. Within these pages are detailed chapters focusing on plant structure and the terminology used to describe plants, the evolution and classification of plants based on the most up-to-date information, and an introduction to the plant systematists toolbox including chapters on herbarium management, specimen collection, molecular techniques, and fundamentals of nomenclature. As if this were not enough, the book is generously illustrated with full color plates that bring each topic to life. The botanical community has been waiting for a textbook like this for a long time the wait is finally over!”
– Kenneth M. Cameron, The New York Botanical Garden, U.S.A.
“This is an “enabling” book on many levels. The labeled photographs of dissections and other structural details will speed mastery of plant diversity by students, as will the eclectic assortment of exemplar species pictured. The presentations of phylogenetic and molecular systematics give an accessible introduction to these complex and rapidly changing methodologies which pervade the modern systematic literature. Unit IV and the Appendices provide students with an instruction manual to guide them in systematic research of their own. Simpson also places plant systematics within the larger context of plant biology by relating taxonomic characters to, for example, molecular models of floral development, assessment of plant breeding system ecology, and the physiology of alternative photosynthetic pathways. This allows students and non-systematists to see that these aspects of plant biology have evolutionary dimensions as well.”
– David M. Johnson, Ohio Wesleyan University, U.S.A.
“I am impressed and excited about this book. I am impressed, because Mike Simpson has authored a comprehensive, up to date, user friendly, and profusely illustrated textbook that will facilitate the teaching of plant systematics. The organization, breadth of topics, and illustrations are truly exceptional; Dr. Simpson has “raised the bar” in terms of textbook quality and scope. I am excited, because this book undoubtedly will serve as a valuable teaching and learning resource for the college classroom. Instructors and students will love this book, especially with its wealth of images, clarity of presentation, and review questions and exercises after each chapter.”
– Wayne J. Elisens, University of Oklahoma, Norman, U.S.A.