Types of Classification

Introduction to Types of Classification

The various types of classification proposed through earlier taxonomists can be generally categorized into three systems- artificial, natural and phylogenetic.

Artificial system

It was relies on one or at most just a few superficial characters.  In the year 1753, Carolus   Linnaeus of Sweden published the book "Species Plantarum" in which he explained 7,300 species.  He categorized the plants into 24 classes that based on number, union, length and certain another characters of stamens. Therefore, this system is also termed as sexual system of classification.  In those days, it was a significant over other systems of classification.  The significance of floral characters was felt through Linnaeus and his classification was more significant than others. The major fault of this system is that completely not related plants are brought together in a single group and those which are intimately related plants are placed in widely separated groups.   For instance, plants that are belonging to Zingiberaceae of Monocotyledons       and that of Anacardiaceous of Dicotyledons had been positioned in one group that is termed as Monandria, as these possess just one stamen. Other defect of this system was that no significance was provided to either natural or phylogenetic relationships between the different groups of plants.

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Diagram: Carolus Linnaeus

Natural system

In this type of classification, plants are categorized relies on their natural affinities. Several numbers of characters are taken into consideration in this system. It is chiefly relies on all the information which were presented throughout the time of direct observation of plants. The most significant natural system of categorization of seed plants was planned by two British botanists George Bentham and Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker.  It assists to ascertain the relationships among several groups of plants.  Though, it does not effort to bring out evolutionary relationships between different groups of plants.

Phylogenetic system

This type of system is relies on evolutionary sequence also genetic relationships between dissimilar groups of plants.  Additionally to this, it uses as many taxonomic characters as possible. Charles Darwin's concept of Origin of Species had provided sufficient stimulus for the formation of phylogenetic system of classification. Adolf Engler (1844-1930) and Karl Prantl (1849-1893) of Germany published a phylogenetic system in their monograph on "Die Naturlichen Pflanzen Familien". In this system, floral characters like single whorl of perianth or no perianth and unisexual flowers pollinated through wind were referred as primitive characters while compared to perianth with two whorls,  bisexual flowers pollinated through insects.  As per to them, members of Asteraceae, dicotyledons and Orchidaceae of monocotyledons were extremely advanced.

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