Taxon


Taxon

A taxon (plural taxa), or taxonomic unit, is a name designating an organism or a group of organisms. In biological nomenclature according to Carl Linnaeus, a taxon is assigned a taxonomic rank and can be placed at a particular level in a systematic hierarchy reflecting evolutionary relationships.

A distinction is to be made between taxa/taxonomy and classification/systematics. The former refers to biological names and the rules of naming. The latter refers to rank ordering of taxa according to presumptive evolutionary (phylogenetic) relationships.

Note: "Phylum" applies formally to any biological domain, but traditionally it was always used for animals, whereas "Division" was traditionally often used for plants, fungi, etc.

A simple mnemonic phrase to remember the sequence of taxonomic levels is:"Dignified Kings Play Chess On Fine Green Silk"; another, highly expedient example is "King Philip's Class Orders the Family Genius to Speak" or "Dumb King Philip Crawled Over Five Girl Scouts".

A prefix is used to indicate a ranking of lesser importance. The prefix "super-" indicates a rank above, the prefix "sub-" indicates a rank below. In zoology the prefix "infra-" indicates a rank below "sub-". For instance::Superclass:Class:Subclass:Infraclass

Rank is relative, and restricted to a particular systematic schema. For example, liverworts have been grouped, in various systems of classification, as a family, order, class, or division (phylum). The use of a narrow set of ranks is challenged by users of cladistics; for example, the mere 10 ranks traditionally used between animal families (governed by the ICZN) and animal phyla (usually the highest relevant rank in taxonomic work) often cannot adequately represent the evolutionary history as more about a lineage's phylogeny becomes known. In addition, the class rank is quite often not an evolutionary but a phenetical and paraphyletic group and as opposed to those ranks governed by the ICZN, can usually not be made monophyletic by exchanging the taxa contained therein. This has given rise to phylogenetic taxonomy and the ongoing development of the PhyloCode, which is to govern the application of taxa to clades.

ee also

*Alpha taxonomy
*Chresonym
*Cladistics
*ICBN
*ICZN
*Rank (botany)
*Rank (zoology)
*Segregate (taxonomy)


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • taxon — taxon …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • taxon — [ taksɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1964; du gr. taxis → taxi ♦ Biol. Unité formelle représentée par un groupe d organismes, à chaque niveau de la classification (⇒ cladogramme). Taxon de rang spécifique, de rang familial. Des taxons. ● taxon ou taxum nom… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • taxon — taxón s. m. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  TAXÓN m. biol. Unitate sistematică folosită la clasificarea regnului vegetal şi animal. /<fr. taxon Trimis de siveco, 22.08.2004. Sursa: NODEX  TAXÓN s.m. ( …   Dicționar Român

  • taxon — taxón o taxon (Palabra creada sobre taxonomía). m. Biol. Cada una de las subdivisiones de la clasificación biológica, desde la especie, que se toma como unidad, hasta el filo o tipo de organización …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • taxón — o taxon (Palabra creada sobre taxonomía). m. Biol. Cada una de las subdivisiones de la clasificación biológica, desde la especie, que se toma como unidad, hasta el filo o tipo de organización …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Taxon — Tax on (t[a^]ks [o^]n), n.; pl. {taxa} or {taxons}. a taxonomic group, or the name of a taxonomic grouping. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • taxon — taxon. См. таксон. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Taxon — (Plur. Taxa), einer Kategorie entsprechende Benennung einer natürlichen Gruppe von Organismen. Die Zuordnung erfolgt aufgrund einer »diskontinuierlichen Variabilität«; darunter versteht man eine zu beobachtende Gleichförmigkeit bei Angehörigen… …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • taxon — 1929, from German (1926), shortened from taxonomie (see TAXONOMY (Cf. taxonomy)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • taxon — [tak′sän΄] n. pl. taxa [tak′sə] [back form. < TAXONOMY] a taxonomic category or unit, as a species or family …   English World dictionary

  • Taxón — La clasificación jerárquica puede expresarse con un dendrograma, en que cada nodo representa un posible taxón y los taxones se agrupan en una jerarquía de inclusión. En biología, un taxón (del griego ταξις, transliterado como taxis, ordenamiento… …   Wikipedia Español


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