Systematics Section / ASPT
Shipunov, Alexey B. .
Two sides of four kingdoms and other problems of living things classification.
Most of researches agree that kingdom-level classification of living things needs the special rules and principles. Two approaches are possible: (a) tree-based, Hennigian approach will look for main dichotomies inside so-called "Tree of Life"; and (b) space-based, Linnaean approach will look for the key differences inside "Natural System" multidimensional "cloud". If the hypothesis of Stechmann and Cavalier-Smith (2003, 2004) about root of eukaryote tree will be finally accepted, the tree-based logic lead us to provide four main clades ("kingdoms") according to the main splits within ToL: /Bacteria, /Archaea, /Panplantae ("Biconta") and /Pananimalia ("Uniconta"). Thus, now the classification includes the small number of kingdoms is again acceptable after the long period of "kingdoms expansion".
Despite of clear advantages of tree-like approach (easy to develop rules and algorithms; trees are self-explaining), in many cases the space-based approach is still preferable, because it let us to summarize any kinds of taxonomically related data and to compare different classifications quite easily. This approach also lead us to four-kingdom classification, but with different groups: Monera, Protista, Vegetabilia and Animalia, which represent different steps of increased complexity of living things, from simple prokaryotic cell to compound eukaryotic cell and further to tissue/organ cell systems.
We think that these two classifications can coexist as they reflect the complementary approaches of studying the diversity of life. Some other "top-ranked" problems of the classifications on the highest levels (position of viruses, nannobacteria, environmental phyla, number of eukaryotic main divisions, rank of higher plant groups, basal groups of fungi and animals, Esdysozoa and Lophotrochozoa controversies) will be also discussed.
Please see the web-site of classification on http://herba.msu.ru/shipunov/os/os-en.htm
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1 - University of Idaho, Department of Forest Resources, Moscow, Idaho, 83844-1133, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Continental C/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Time: 10:45 AM