The Botanical Review

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 323–355

Numerical and comparative analyses of the modern systems of classification of the flowering plants

  • Alain Cuerrier
  • Luc Brouillet
  • Denis Barabé
Article

Abstract

The modern classifications of Cronquist, Dahlgren, Takhtajan, and Thorne have been compared with one another and also with those published at the beginning of the 20th century, which comprise the ones by Bessey, Engler, Gobi, and Hallier. Mantel and consensus tests have been used to compare the different matrices taken from the above classifications. Results indicate that all four modern classifications do not differ from one another statistically. Ordinal delimitation has not changed significantly for a century at least: Orders of the modern classifications are similar to those of the past classifications. However, the topology or structure of Cronquist’s and Takhtajan’s classifications differs from that of Bessey’s. Also, Engler’s dicotyledon classification is statistically different from those of the modern systems. Among past classifications, that of Hallier resembles the modern ones most. The resemblance among the modern classifications and, in general, with the past ones can be explained by the similarity in taxonomic principles and in the practice used. Two other factors help in explaining similarities among classifications: cognitive constraint and historical inertia. For instance, the Linnean scheme—upon which all botanical classifications are based—imposes on the latter a structure which allows only with difficulty and approximation the representation of taxon evolution. Moreover, not only have modern authors mutually influenced one another (particularly Cronquist/Takhtajan, Dahlgren/Thorne), but also they have been influenced by past authors. Indeed, modern classifications are a reshuffling of past ones. Also, Engler’s influence is great, especially at the ordinal level.

For changes and modifications to become effective in future classifications of flowering plants, one will have to minimize, if not avoid, the implicit influence of the modern systems as standard systems, and to count on, among others, molecular data in redefining taxonomic concepts founded on classical morphology, and consequently to remove the prudence that makes us look at classification as a useful convention for which one of the basic criteria remains the stability of taxa recognized long ago.

Résumé

Les classifications modernes de Cronquist, Dahlgren, Takhtajan et Thorne sont comparées entre elles et avec les principales classifications du début du XXe siècle, celles de Bessey, Engler, Gobi et Hallier. Les tests de Mantel et de consensus ont été utilisés pour permettre la comparaison des différentes matrices tirées des classifications mentionnées ci-dessus. Les résultats des comparaisons montrent que les quatre classifications modernes ne diffèrent pas statistiquement entre elles. La délimitation des ordres n’a pas changé de façon significative depuis au moins un siècle: les ordres des modernes sont semblables à ceux des anciens. Toutefois, la topologie des classifications de Cronquist et de Takhtajan s’éloigne de celle de Bessey. La classification des Dicotylédones d’Engler diffère de celles des modernes. Parmi les classifications anciennes, celle de Hallier ressemble le plus aux modernes. La grande ressemblance des modernes entre eux et avec les anciens s’explique par la similarité dans les principes et l’approche taxonomique utilisés. Deux autres facteurs expliquent cette similarité: la contrainte cognitive et l’inertie historique. D’une part, la structure linnéenne qui fonde les classifications botaniques actuelles, impose aux classifications une rigidité qui permet difficilement la représentation de l’évolution des taxons. D’autre part, non seulement les auteurs modernes se sontils mutuellement influencés (surtout Cronquist/Takhtajan, Dahlgren/Thorne), mais ils ont été influencés par les anciens. Les classifications modernes sont en fait un remaniement des anciennes. De plus, l’influence d’Engler est forte, surtout au niveau de la délimitation des ordres.

Les prochaines classifications des plantes à fleurs devront—pour que les changements se fassent sans contrainte — éviter l’influence implicite des systèmes modernes en tant que système-étalon, miser, entre autres, sur les données moléculaires pour redéfinir les concepts taxonomiques fondés sur la morphologie traditionnelle, et lever la prudence qui fait que l’on conçoit la classification comme une convention utile pour laquelle l’un des critères de base est la stabilité des taxons reconnus historiquement.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Abbott, L. A., F. A. Bisby &D. J. Rogers. 1985. Taxonomic analysis in biology. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Bachelard, G. 1972. L’engagement rationaliste. PUF, Paris.Google Scholar
  3. Barabé, D. 1984. Les principes directeurs des systèmes modernes de classification des angiospermes. Naturaliste Canad. 111: 21–30.Google Scholar
  4. —. 1993. Les systèmes modernes de classification des angiospermes. Pp. 135–159in O. Poncy (ed.), Systématique botanique: problèmes actuels. Biosystema 10. Société française de systématique, Paris.Google Scholar
  5. — &L. Brouillet 1982. Commentaires sur le système de classification des Angiospermes de Takhtajan. Acta Biotheoretica 3: 127–141.Google Scholar
  6. — &J. Vieth. 1990. Les principes de systématique chez Engler. Taxon 39: 394–408.Google Scholar
  7. Benson, L. 1957. Plant classification. D. C. Heath, Boston.Google Scholar
  8. Bernier, R. 1984. The species as an individual: facing essentialism. Syst. Zool. 33: 460–469.Google Scholar
  9. Bessey, C. E. 1915. The phylogenetic taxonomy of flowering plants. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 2: 109–164.Google Scholar
  10. Buffon, G. L. L., Comte de. 1749. Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, avec la description du Cabinet du Roy. Discours premier. Vol. 1. Imprimerie Royale, Paris.Google Scholar
  11. Cain, A. J. 1994. Rank and sequence in Caspar Bauhin’s Pinax. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 114: 311–356.Google Scholar
  12. Caruel, T. 1889. Conspectus familiarum phanerogamarum. Nuovo Giorn. Bot. It. 21:132–137.Google Scholar
  13. Chase, M. W., D. E. Soltis, R. G. Olmstead, D. Morgan, D. H. Les, B. D. Mishler, M. R. Duvall, R. A. Price, H. G. Hills, Y.-L. Qiu, K. A. Kron, J. H. Rettig, E. Conti, J. D. Palmer, J. R. Manhart, K. J. Sytsma, H. J. Michaels, W. J. Kress, K. G. Karol, W. D. Clark, M. Hedrén, B. S. Gaut, R. K. Jansen, K.J. Kim, C. F. Wimpee, J. F. Smith, G. R. Furnier, S. H. Strauss, Q.-Y. Xiang, G. M. Plunkett, P. S. Soltis, S. M. Swensen, S. E. Williams, P. A. Gadek, C. J. Quinn, L. E. Eguiarte, E. Golenberg, G. H. Learn Jr.,S. W. Graham, S. C. H. Barrett, S. Dayanandan &V. A. Albert 1993. Phylogenetics of seed plants: an analysis of nucleotide sequences from the plastid generbcL. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 528–580.Google Scholar
  14. Core, E. E. 1955. Plant taxonomy. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  15. Croizat, L. 1964. Thoughts on high systematics, phytogeny and floral morphogeny, with a note on the origin of the Angiospermae. Candollea 19:17–96.Google Scholar
  16. Cronk, Q. C. B. 1989. Measurement of biological and historical influences on plant classification. Taxon 3: 357–370.Google Scholar
  17. —. 1990. The name of the pea: a quantitative history of legume classification. New Phytol. 116: 163–175.Google Scholar
  18. Cronquist, A. 1957. Outline of anew system of families and orders of Dicotyledons. Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat (Bruxelle) 27:13–40.Google Scholar
  19. —. 1965. The status of the general system of classification of flowering plants. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 52: 281–303.Google Scholar
  20. —. 1969a. Broad features of the system of Angiosperms. Taxon 18:188–193.Google Scholar
  21. —. 1969b. The general system of classification of flowering plants. Ward’s Bull. 8: 1–2, 6–7.Google Scholar
  22. —. 1969c. On the relationship between taxonomy and evolution. Taxon 18:177–187.Google Scholar
  23. -. 1974. Current opinion on the evolutionary history and classification of flowering plants. Pp. 128–129in Memoria del II Congresso Venezolano de Botanica. Merida.Google Scholar
  24. —. 1976. The taxonomic significance of the structure of plant proteins: a classical taxonomist’s view. Brittonia 28:1–27.Google Scholar
  25. —. 1979. Taxonomy. J. Coll. Sci. Teaching 9: 76–79.Google Scholar
  26. —. 1980. Chemistry in plant taxonomy: an assessment of where we stand. Pp. 1–27in F. A. Bisby et al. (eds.), Chemosystematics: principles and practice. Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  27. —. 1981. An integrated system of classification of flowering plants. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  28. —. 1983. Some realignments in the Dicotyledons. Nordic J. Bot. 3: 75–83.Google Scholar
  29. —. 1987. A botanical critique of cladism. Bot. Rev. (Lancaster) 53:1–52.Google Scholar
  30. —. 1988. The evolution and classification of flowering plants. Ed. 2. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx.Google Scholar
  31. Cuerrier, A. In press. Hallier’s system of plant classification: a numerical and historical analyses. Bot. Jahrb. 121. (Forthcoming, 1999.)Google Scholar
  32. —,L. Brouillet &D. Barabé. 1990. Numerical taxonomic study of the Begoniaceae using the Mantel test on leaf microcharacters. Taxon 39: 549–560.Google Scholar
  33. —,D. Barabé &L. Brouillet. 1992. Bessey and Engler: a numerical analysis of their classification of the flowering plants. Taxon 41: 667–684.Google Scholar
  34. —,R. W. Kiger &P. F. Stevens. 1996. Charles Bessey, evolution, classification and the New Botany. Huntia 9:179–213.Google Scholar
  35. Dahlgren, G. 1989a. The last dahlgrenogram: system of classification of the Dicotyledons. Pp. 249–260in K. Tan et al. (eds.), Plant taxonomy, phytogeography and related subjects. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  36. —. 1989b. An updated angiosperm classification. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 100: 197–203.Google Scholar
  37. Dahlgren, R. 1980. A revised system of classification of the Angiosperms. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 80: 91–124.Google Scholar
  38. —. 1983. General aspects of angiosperm evolution and macrosystematics. Nordic J. Bot. 3: 119–149.Google Scholar
  39. —,H. T. Clifford &P. F. Yeo. 1985. The families of the Monocotyledons: structure, evolution, and taxonomy. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  40. — &R. F. Thorne. 1984. The order Myrtales: circumscription, variation, and relationships. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 71: 633–699.Google Scholar
  41. De Candolle, A. 1859. Mémoire sur la famille des Bégoniacées. Ann. Sci. Nat., sér. 4, 11: 93–149.Google Scholar
  42. Donoghue, M. J. &M. J. Sanderson. 1992. The suitability of molecular and morphological evidence in reconstructing plant phytogeny. Pp. 340–368in P. S. Soltis et al. (eds.), Molecular systematics of plants. Chapman and Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  43. Endress, P. K. 1993. Federico Delpino and early views on angiosperm origin and macroevolution. Diss. Bot. 196: 77–83.Google Scholar
  44. Engler, A. 1897. Principien der systematischen Anordnung, insbesondere der Angiospermen: Nachträge zu Teil II-IV. Pp. 5–14in A. Engler & K. Prantl (eds.), Die naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Angiospermae. W. Engelmann, Leipzig.Google Scholar
  45. —. 1909. Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien. Ed. 6. Gebrüder Borntraeger, Berlin.Google Scholar
  46. —. 1926. Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Angiospermae. Band 14a. W. Engelmann, Leipzig.Google Scholar
  47. Ghiselin, M. T. 1984. Narrow approaches to phytogeny: a review of nine books of cladism. Oxford Surv. Evol.Biol. 1:209–222.Google Scholar
  48. Gobi, C. 1916. A review of the system of plants. Petrograd.Google Scholar
  49. Hallier, H. 1912. L’origine et le système phylétique des Angiospermes exposés à l’aide de leur arbre généalogique. Arch. Néerl. Sci. Exact Nat. Sér. 3, 1: 146–234.Google Scholar
  50. Holman, E. W. 1985. Evolutionary and psychological effects in pre-evolutionary classifications. J. Classific. 2: 29–39.Google Scholar
  51. —. 1992. Statistical properties of large published classifications. J. Classific. 9: 187–210.Google Scholar
  52. Hughes, N. F. 1994. The enigma of angiosperm origins. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  53. Kiger, R. W. 1971. Context and bases of the Besseyan dicta. M. A. thesis, University of Maryland, Col-lege Park.Google Scholar
  54. Krassilov, V. A. 1991. The origin of Angiosperms: new and old problems. TREE 6: 215–220.Google Scholar
  55. Lapointe, F.-J. &P. Legendre. 1990. A statistical framework to test the consensus of two nested classifications. Syst. Zool. 39: 1–13.Google Scholar
  56. Leroy, J.-F. 1993. Origine et évolution des Plantes à fleurs: les Nymphéas et le génie de la nature. Mas-son, Paris.Google Scholar
  57. Lindley, J. 1826. Some account of the spherical and numerical system of nature of M. Elias Fries. Philos. Mag. J. 68:81–91.Google Scholar
  58. Lu, A.-M. 1981. A preliminary review of the modern classification systems of the flowering plants. Acta Phytotax. 8: 279–290.Google Scholar
  59. Mabberley, D. J. 1985. Jupiter botanicus: Robert Brown of the British Museum. Cramer, Braunschweig.Google Scholar
  60. Mantel, N. 1967. The detection of disease clustering and a generalized regression approach. Cancer Res. 27: 209–220.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Meeuse, A. D. J. 1982. Cladistics, wood anatomy and angiosperm phytogeny—a challenge. Acta Bot. Neerl. 31: 345–354.Google Scholar
  62. —. 1987. All about Angiosperms. Eburon, Delft.Google Scholar
  63. —. 1992. Angiosperm evolution: no abominable mystery. Eburon, Delft.Google Scholar
  64. Podani, J. 1990. SYN-TAX IV: computer programs for data analysis in ecology and systematics on IBM-PC and Macintosh computers. ICEMST, Trieste.Google Scholar
  65. Qiu, Y.-L., M. W. Chase, D. H. Les &C. R. Parks. 1993. Molecular phylogenetics of the Magnoliidae: cladistic analyses of nucleotide sequences of the plastid generbcL. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 587–606.Google Scholar
  66. Rieppel, O. 1991. Things, taxa and relationships. Cladistics 7: 93–100.Google Scholar
  67. Sattler, R. 1991. Plant morphology as applied to systematics. Pp. 433–437in D. W. Woodland, Contemporary plant systematics. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  68. —. 1992. Process morphology: structural dynamics in development and evolution. Canad. J. Bot. 70: 708–714.Google Scholar
  69. Sivarajan, V. V. 1991. Introduction to the principles of plant taxonomy. Ed. 2, N. K. B. Robson (ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  70. Sneath, P. H. A. &R. R. Sokal. 1973. Numerical taxonomy: the principles and practice of numerical classification. W. H. Freeman, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  71. Soltis, P. S. &D. E. Solris. 1995. Plant molecular systematics: inferences of phylogeny and evolutionary processes. Evol. Biol. 28: 139–194.Google Scholar
  72. Stace, C. A. 1989. Plant taxonomy and biosystematics. Edward Arnold, London.Google Scholar
  73. Stevens, P. F. 1984a. Haüy and A.-P. Candolle: crystallography, botanical systematics, and comparative morphology, 1780–1840. J. Hist. Biol. 17: 49–82.Google Scholar
  74. —. 1984b. Metaphors and typology in the development of botanical systematics, 1690–1960, or the art of putting new wine in old bottles. Taxon 33: 169–211.Google Scholar
  75. —. 1986. Evolutionary classification in botany, 1960–1985. J. Arnold Arbor. 67: 313–339.Google Scholar
  76. —. 1991. George Bentham and the Kew rule. Pp. 157–168in D. L. Hawksworth (ed.), Improving the stability of names: needs and options. Regnum Vegetabile 123. Koeltz Scientific, Königstein.Google Scholar
  77. —. 1994. The development of biological systematics: Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu, nature, and the natural system. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  78. —. 1996. How to interpret botanical classifications—suggestions from history. BioScience 47: 243–250.Google Scholar
  79. — &S. P. Cullen. 1990. Linnaeus, the cortex-medulla theory, and the key to his understanding of plant form and natural relationships. J. Arnold Arbor. 71:179–220.Google Scholar
  80. Takhtajan, A. 1942. The structural types of gynoecium and the placentation. Bull. Armenian Branch Acad. Sci. U.S.S.R. 3–4(17–18): 91–112.Google Scholar
  81. —. 1943. Correlations of ontogenesis and phylogenesis in higher plants. Trans. Erevan State Univ. 22: 71–176.Google Scholar
  82. —. 1954. Quelques problèmes de la morphologie évolutive des Angiospermes. Essais Bot. 2: 779–793.Google Scholar
  83. —. 1958. Origin of angiospermous plants. Transl. by O. H. Gankin. Ed. by G. L. Stebbins. American Institute for the Biological Sciences, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  84. —. 1959. Essays on the evolutionary morphology of plants. Transl. by O. H. Gankin. Ed. by G. L. Stebbins. American Institute for the Biological Sciences, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  85. —. 1964. The taxa of the higher plants above the rank of order. Taxon 13: 160–164.Google Scholar
  86. —. 1966. Sistema i filogenija cvetkovyck rastenij (Systema et phylogenia Magnoliophytorum). Nauka, Moscow.Google Scholar
  87. —. 1972. Patterns of ontogenetic alternations in the evolution of higher plants. Phytomorphology 22: 164–171.Google Scholar
  88. —. 1973. Evolution und Ausbreitung der Blütenpflanzen. Gustav Fischer, Jena.Google Scholar
  89. —. 1976. Neoteny and the origin of flowering plants. Pp. 207–219in C. B. Beck (ed.), Origin and early evolution of angiosperms. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  90. —. 1980. Outline of the classification of flowering plants (Magnoliophyta). Bot. Rev. (Lancaster) 46: 225–359.Google Scholar
  91. —. 1983. Macroevolutionary processes in the history of the plant world. Bot. Zhum. 68: 1593–1603.Google Scholar
  92. —. 1987. Systema Magnoliophytorum. Nauka, Leninopoli.Google Scholar
  93. —. 1991. Evolutionary trends in flowering plants. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  94. —. 1997. Diversity and classification of flowering plants. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  95. Thorne, R. F. 1958. Some guiding principles of angiosperm phytogeny. Brittonia 10: 72–77.Google Scholar
  96. —. 1963. Some problems and guiding principles of angiosperm phytogeny. Amer. Naturalist 97: 287–305.Google Scholar
  97. —. 1968. Synopsis of a putatively phylogenetic classification of the flowering plants. Aliso 6: 57–66.Google Scholar
  98. —. 1973. Inclusion of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) in the Araliaceae. Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 32: 161–165.Google Scholar
  99. —. 1976. A phylogenetic classification of the Angiospermae. Evol. Biol. 9: 35–106.Google Scholar
  100. —. 1977. Some realignments in the Angiospermae. Pl. Syst. Evol., Suppl. 1: 299–319.Google Scholar
  101. —. 1981. Phytochemistry and angiosperm phytogeny: a summary statement. Pp. 233–295in D. A. Young & D. S. Seigler (eds.), Phytochemistry and angiosperm phytogeny. Praeger, New York.Google Scholar
  102. —. 1992a. An updated phylogenetic classification of the flowering plants. Aliso 13: 365–389.Google Scholar
  103. —. 1992b. Classification and geography of the flowering plants. Bot. Rev. (Lancaster) 58:225–350.Google Scholar
  104. Turrill, W. B. 1963. Joseph Dalton Hooker: botanist, explorer and administrator. Thomas Nelson & Sons, London.Google Scholar
  105. Van Tieghem, P. 1918. sÉléments de botanique. 2 vols. Ed. 5. Rev. & corrected by J. Costantin. Masson, Paris.Google Scholar
  106. Watson, L. 1964. The taxonomic significance of certain anatomical observations on Ericaceae. New Phytol. 63: 274–280.Google Scholar
  107. Williams, R. L. 1988. Gerard and Jaume: two neglected figures in the history of Jussiaean classification. Taxon 37: 2–34, 233–271.Google Scholar
  108. Woodland, D. W. 1991. Contemporary plant systematics. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  109. Wright, S. P. 1992. Adjusted P-values for simultaneous inference. Biometrics 48: 1005–1013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Cuerrier
    • 1
  • Luc Brouillet
    • 1
  • Denis Barabé
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Recherche en Biologie VégétaleUniversité de Montréal et Jardin Botanique de la Ville de MontréalMontréalCanada

Personalised recommendations