Micromorphology and anatomy in systematics of Asteraceae. An old-fashioned approach?

Pedja Janaćković, Alfonso Susanna, Petar D. Marin


The comparative study of plant morphology, intertwined with anatomy, has always been the basis for plant systematics, which strives to explain diversity, evolution and phylogeny of plants. In the molecular era, some authors diminish importance of morphology and especially anatomy in systematic and phylogenetic studies of plants. However, are molecular data exclusively a primary and self-sufficient approach in taxonomic research of plants? This review paper addresses this issue through specific examples. Studies of some Asteraceae taxa showed that morphological, micromorphological and anatomical data are extremely important in systematics. New opportunities for systematic morphology, micromorphology and anatomy in case of Asteraceae taxonomy, but certainly also in other plant groups, that were not present in the premolecular era, are opening regarding synergistic multidisciplinary taxonomic, evolutionary and phylogenetic studies that combine molecular with morphological, anatomical and other analyses (e.g. chemophenetics), keeping in the throne these "old fashioned" approaches.


morphology; taxonomy; characters; synergy

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