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microtaxonomyMikrotaxonomie (ger.)

  • The science of formally defining and naming species and their subcategories, and of assigning entities to species and their subcategories.
    taxonomy macrotaxonomy

    the taxonomist [...] used to derive his opinions upon species formation from studies of closely related species. Nowadays he adds to this the study of the subspecies found in nature and their geographic relations. We might call this microtaxonomy.

    Goldschmidt, R. (1940). The Material Basis of Evolution: 5.


    The microtaxonomy of the human species has long been a major interest of physical anthropologists

    Fix, A.G. (1973). [Rev. Weiner, J.S. & Huizinga, J. (eds.) (1972). The Assessment of Population Affinities in Man]. Biometrics 29, 231-232: 231.


    There are two kinds of problems to which evolutionary systematics can be applied. Those involving species and populations (microtaxonomy) are largely ignored in this paper. Among the other kind of problems, those of higher classification (macrotaxonomy) and historical biogeography, one of the most important is the evolutionary reason for the existence of groups of more or less similar species that can be arranged by these degrees of similarity into hierarchies.

    Ashlock, P.D. (1974). An evolutionary systematist’s view of classification. Syst. Zool. 28, 441-450: 441.


    microtaxonomy That branch of taxonomy concerned with the classification of species, varieties and populations; cf. macrotaxonomy.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 155.


    The history of the field is best understood, if two subfields of taxonomy are recognized: (1) microtaxonomy, which deals with the methods and principles by which kinds (“species”) of organisms are recognized and delimited, and (2) macrotaxonomy, which deals with the methods and principles by which kinds of organisms are classified, that is, arranged in the form of classifications.

    Mayr, E. (1982). The Growth of Biological Thought: 145-6.