J Syst Evol ›› 1981, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (3): 279-290.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A preliminary review of the modern classification systems of the flowering plants

Lu An-Ming   

  1. (Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica)
  • Published:1981-08-18

Abstract: The present paper is divided into three parts: 1. The first part is devoted to the review of the historical origin of the modern classification systems of the flowering plants. Early systems of classification since the Aristotelian time provided a basis for the modern schemes of classification. This paper has reviewed briefly the history of plant systematics, which is divided into three periods: the period of mechanical systems of classification, of natural systems of classification, and of phylogenetic systems of classification. The historical development of the plant systems and the basic idea for three periods is discussed respectively. This paper also considers that the studies of the modern classification system have been entering a new period which primarily aims at overall evolutionary respects. 2. Comparison of the modern classification systems of the flowering plants. Four main modern systems (i. e. A. Cronquist 1979, A. Takhtajan 1980, J. Hutchinson 1973 and A. Engler,s system as revised by H. Melchior in Engler,s Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien 1964) which have greatly influenced the systemstics of plants are compared as to their systematical principles, basic concepts and systematic positions of higher taxa (orders and families) of the flowering plants. The paper is of the opinion that there is still much important work to be done in every field. 3. A review for the modern classification systems of the flowering plants. The paper reviews the modern classification of angiosperms from six aspects: a). The flowers plants are originated from a common ancestral stock; b). The flowers of angiosperms are homogeneous, stamen and carpel are phylletic sporangiophores, all flowers of angiosperms are comparable; c). Monocotyledons are originated from primitive dicotyledons, and represent phylogenetically monophyletic branch; d). The idea advocating the subdivision of Dicotyledoneae into Lignosae and Herbaceae should be rejected as pointed out by many authors; e). The systematical position of Hamamelidae is still a crucial subject for further research; f). The evolutional trends and evaluation of taxonomic characters must be considered in connection with the cor-relation to other characters in question.