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The real work of systematics.

abstract1 (full description below): Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Vol. 77, No. 1. (1990), pp. 4-12.
systematics. PDF/Acrobat file     Michael E. SoulĂ©

Abstract: 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 systernatists 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.