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Phylogenetics: The Theory and Practice of Phylogenetic Systematics Hardcover – 23 Sep 1981

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The volume is impressively broad in its coverage of modern systematics, including topics such as nomenclature, curatorial practices, and publication, in addition to the basic principles and methods of phylogenetic inference.   (The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1 March 2014)


--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

The long–awaited revision of the industry standard on phylogenetics

Since the publication of the first edition of this landmark volume more than twenty–five years ago, phylogenetic systematics has taken its place as the dominant paradigm of systematic biology. It has profoundly influenced the way scientists study evolution, and has seen many theoretical and technical advances as the field has continued to grow. It goes almost without saying that the next twenty–five years of phylogenetic research will prove as fascinating as the first, with many exciting developments yet to come.

This new edition of Phylogenetics captures the very essence of this rapidly evolving discipline. Written for the practicing systematist and phylogeneticist, it addresses both the philosophical and technical issues of the field, as well as surveys general practices in taxonomy. Major sections of the book deal with the nature of species and higher taxa, homology and characters, trees and tree graphs, and biogeography the purpose being to develop biologically relevant species, character, tree, and biogeographic concepts that can be applied fruitfully to phylogenetics.

The book then turns its focus to phylogenetic trees, including an in–depth guide to tree–building algorithms. Additional coverage includes:

  • Parsimony and parsimony analysis

  • Parametric phylogenetics including maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches

  • Phylogenetic classification

  • Critiques of evolutionary taxonomy, phenetics, and transformed cladistics

  • Specimen selection, field collecting, and curating

  • Systematic publication and the rules of nomenclature

Providing a thorough synthesis of the field, this important update to Phylogenetics is essential for students and researchers in the areas of evolutionary biology, molecular evolution, genetics and evolutionary genetics, paleontology, physical anthropology, and zoology.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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A basic task of the systematist is to estimate the diversity of species in the group or fauna investigated. Read the first page
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A must-own book for classes and professionals 26 Sept. 2012
By phylogeneticist - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Wiley has done it again with this new book but this time he brings into the fold an equally talented systematist, Lieberman. This book carries the grand tradition as Wiley's first edition to Phylogenetic Systematics but provides a thorough update of many topics for practicing systematists and students potentially interested in the discipline. Some may argue that the additional materials do not provide enough depth; this can be argued but the depth to any of the topics can be found in an abundant supply of primary literature. This book is intended as a college text (undergraduate and graduate) and as a reference and critical manual on understanding and practicing systematics in a correct manner.

This book, like the first edition, out shines all other texts on systematics. Why? First, it is intelligible and does not read like a poorly written manual translated from a different language and mixed with a great deal of hyperbole. Second, this book, like the first edition, provides essential theoretical, philosophical and metaphysical aspects to science, especially topics in systematics, that will be beneficial to understanding any of the topics and quickly advancing one's career. All essential topics are covered and if one reads this book and approaches it with an open mind, and not one immediately and unwaveringly biased from being part of a different "camp" of systematists, you will be amazed as to how this will change your life in academics, as well as many other areas of science. Scientists need to be individuals and decide on things like this on their own and on the merits of the philosophical perspective advocated. Frankly, all other texts and reference manuals treat systematics as a series of operations and sorely lack these essential discussions as to why you do certain operations and when - this alone will make or break you in thoroughly understanding the fields of systematics and taxonomy. While some will argue with this, I argue that before you can do science (and some forget that this is what we are doing) you need to know the limits of "what is" and "what is not" science. Wiley and Lieberman provide this for you in a very thorough and thought provoking manner. Now, this is not to say that these materials may be foreign to those use to reading "manuals on how to run a program or follow a set of instructions." Such people need to read this book without question to better understand why they are doing what they are doing or even criticizing others about their methods and/or philosophical perspective(s) on the discipline. Those not thoroughly trained or well-versed in systematics need to read this book as it is the foundation of the discipline of systematics today.

I cannot say enough positive things about this text. Without a doubt the positives far outweigh anything that I might perceive as negative and in the latter, just read more in the text and you will find out that what was once perceived as a negative by a reader will soon be reinterpreted as a positive for the text. I use it for all of my classes in this general area of science. The book is well organized and illustrated. The authors make many references in the text to other sections of the book where a topic will also be discussed in a more general or specific/detailed manner, and each chapter ends with a summary of the essential points that the reader should leave the chapter fully understanding. The text also includes some critical aspects about general rules of nomenclature to keep practicing systematists with no background/understanding in/of taxonomy on track.

Great book and must have for professionals in taxonomy and systematics, an excellent recommendation as a textbook for a course in systematics, and wonderful resource to read over and over for undergraduate and graduate students (as well as postdocs and those not central to systematics but should and need to know what it is about).

Finally, just remember this. Wiley's first book sold out in a few years and you cannot touch an original for less than $300 to over $500. Few people want to pass the first edition off because it was the only book at the time that made any sense of the topic and was relatively comprehensive - just as Hennig's book changed this discipline and many others. A true paradigm shift in the discipline of biodiversity studies. This book by Wiley and Lieberman is on track for the same weight in the discipline. The price is very reasonable and you better get yours today - before you have to buy one from some other person or dealer at a much higher price!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
You'll need to do a lot of hard work to ... 11 April 2015
By shawn g gibson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You'll need to do a lot of hard work to get the most out of this book (I know, I'm a beginner) but it is after 30 or so pages educating me in a manner I understand. Don't buy this book unless you're serious about studying. So far, the author has educated me on the very foundation of monophyly and how that is the actual map of nature, and how other grams (non-monophyletic) are just our misunderstandings. Caveat: I have a background in philosophy. This book teaches you how to think, and releases you from all previous nomenclature failings.
Excellent 21 May 2014
By Abdiel Martin Park - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This a book that include the most recent Phylogenetic Systematic's theory and methodologies.

Include useful examples and relatively easy to understand.

You need have a previously background knowledge in Systematics issues.
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