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The Real Work of Systematics
Michael E. Soulé
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Vol. 77, No. 1 (1990), pp. 4-12
Published by: Missouri Botanical Garden Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2399620
Page Count: 9
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Two recent revelations, that the number of species is much greater than previously thought, and that they are disappearing at a frightening rate, should impel systematists to question the implicit objectives of their discipline. It is impossible, using traditional methods, to describe and classify most species in the lesser-known groups. It is suggested that systematists and other organism-ecological biologists must collectively establish criteria for research priorities so that the "real work" of biology in the next few decades can be achieved. Research on many fronts is essential if we are to maintain a significant fraction of the planet's biodiversity.
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden © 1990 Missouri Botanical Garden Press