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Taxonomic Aids: Botanical Gardens, Zoological Parks, Flora, Manuals, Monographs, Catalogues, Publications, Practice Problems and FAQs

Have you ever wondered how scientists study about millions of species found on earth? 

How do they keep the collected information so that it can be utilised effectively when needed?

The answer to the question is taxonomy

Identification, characterization and nomenclature are crucial steps of taxonomy. Each step plays a major role in keeping track of the abundant number of species that mother Earth harbours. In order to extract the right information about each and every species identified, the specimen used for study plays an important role. 

Collection, proper preservation and storage of specimens plays an important role in taxonomic studies. 

Do you know, 391,000 species of vascular plants are currently known, of which about 369,000 species are flowering plants as per the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the different types of taxonomic aids. 

Table of Contents:

Botanical Garden


Introduction

A botanical garden is a place where different species of plants are grown for identification, research and educational purposes. It is a natural and economical reference system. Theophrastus developed the first real botanical garden.

botanical garen

International Association of Botanical Garden

It is an organisation that manages the research and exchange of plant specimens. 

Constituents of Modern Day Botanical Gardens

A modern day botanical garden consists of the following components:

  • Outdoor plants
  • Herbarium
  • Greenhouses
  • Research laboratory
  • Museum
  • Library

Role of Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens have proved to be beneficial in various aspects. It provides plant specimens for comparative taxonomic studies. It also provides material for botanical research. It is an acclimatisation centre for exotic plants which are economically important. It helps in ex-situ conservation of endangered plant species and providing habitat to various animals. It purifies air and provides greenery and hence, improves the environment. 

Names of a Few Botanical Gardens

  • Royal Botanical Garden - It is the most famous and largest botanical garden in the world. It is located at Kew (London), England. It was founded in 1759 by William AIton. It extends upto 200 acres. 
     

    royal botanial garden

  • Indian Botanical Garden - It is the most famous and largest botanical garden of India. It is located at Howrah (Shibpur), Kolkata. It was established in 1787.
  • Some of the other famous botanical gardens are Lloyd Botanical Gardens, Darjeeling; National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow; Garden of the Indian Agriculture Institute, Dehradun.

Zoological Parks


Introduction

A zoological park is a place where wild animals are kept in a human protected environment for public exhibition, research and educational purposes. Species of animals facing threat in their natural habitat are provided a safe environment for breeding and hence it also serves the purpose of protection of certain animal species. Information like common names and scientific names of animals are also displayed here.

zoological park

Role of Zoological Parks

Zoological parks serve various benefits as they provide natural living conditions to animals. Zoological parks are often used for studying food habits of animals and behaviour of different species of animals. It acts as a site for tourist attractions. It also helps in ex-situ conservation of endangered species of animals by captive breeding.

Names of Zoological Parks

  • Bannerghatta National Park, Bengaluru.
  • National Zoological Park, Delhi.
  • Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad.

Keys

Keys are used to identify unknown organisms. Each key possesses contrasting characters in pairs called couplets. Hence the choice is made between two contrasting traits which results in the selection of only one trait. A statement used in a key is known as lead. Each taxonomic category requires a separate taxonomic key. They are analytical artificial devices. 

key

Monographs

It consists of a complete systematic account of each and every bit of information available for the family or genus of an organism. A monograph includes morphological, behavioural, geographic, anatomical and evolutionary information. For example, a monograph of Pinus.

monograph

Manual 

A manual consists of information about all the species of animals of a specific area. It contains information about the area covered, families and scientific names.

manual

Flora

Flora contains the account of habitat and distribution of plants available in any specific area. Examples of floras available in India are Flora Simlensis (H. Collet), Flora of Delhi (J. K. Maheshwari), Flora of Bombay (T. Cook) and Flora of British India (J. D. Hooker).

Catalogues

Catalogues consist of information about species of a particular area in alphabetical order.

catalogues

Publications

Publications include periodicals and dictionaries which provide information about new additions. It also provides updated information.

publications

Importance of Taxonomic Aids

Taxonomic aids have been of great significance in organising, storing and extracting abundant information of different organisms of Earth. They help to store and preserve the information. Not only information, they are also used for preservation of various specimens. They help in the identification, classification and naming of newly discovered organisms. They are useful in understanding the evolution of plants and animals. Scientists used taxonomic aids for scientific studies and research. They help in conservation of plants and animals. Examples for this include botanical gardens and zoological parks. Various taxonomic aids are used in public education. Taxonomic aids like zoological parks are important for aesthetics and recreation. 

Practice Problems of Taxonomic Aids

1. ‘X’ is a taxonomic aid which supports different species of plants used for identification, research and educational purposes. Identify X.

a. Flora
b. Zoological park
c. Manual
d. Botanical garden

Solution: A botanical garden is a place where different species of plants are grown for identification, research and educational purposes. It is a natural and economical reference system. Hence, the correct option is d.

2. There is an organisation which regulates the research and exchange of different plant specimens. Which organisation is referred to here?

a. International Association of Botanical Garden
b. Association of Floral Specimen
c. International Association of Botany
d. International Association of Botanical Studies

Solution: International Association of Botanical Garden is an organisation that manages the research and exchange of plant specimens. Hence, the correct option is a.

3. Rahul came across a taxonomic aid which included a complete systematic account of information available for Pinus. It included morphological, behavioural, geographic, anatomical and evolutionary information. Which taxonomic aid did Rahul come across?

a. Flora
b. Monograph
c. Manual
d. Catalogues

Solution: A monograph consists of a complete systematic account of each and every bit of information available for the family or genus of an organism. It includes morphological, behavioural, geographic, anatomical and evolutionary information. Rahul came across a monograph of Pinus. Hence the correct option is b.

4. A taxonomic aid consists of information about species of a particular area in alphabetical order. It is known as _________.

a. Catalogues
b. Flora
c. Manual
d. Publications

Solution: Catalogues consist of information about species of a particular area in alphabetical order. Hence, the correct option is a.

FAQs of Taxonomic Aids

Question 1. What is the significance of a botanical garden?

Solution: Botanical gardens have proved to be beneficial in various aspects. It provides plant specimens for comparative taxonomic studies. It also provides material for botanical research. It is an acclimatisation centre for exotic plants which are economically important. It helps in ex-situ conservation of endangered plant species and provides habitat to various animals. It purifies air and provides greenery and hence, improves the environment.

Question 2. How are taxonomic aids important?

Solution: Taxonomic aids have been of great significance in organising, storing and extracting abundant information of different organisms of Earth. They help to store and preserve the information. Not only information, they are also used for preservation of various specimens. They help in the identification, classification and naming of newly discovered organisms. They are useful in understanding the evolution of plants and animals. Scientists used taxonomic aids for scientific studies and research. They help in conservation of plants and animals. Examples include botanical gardens and zoological parks. Various taxonomic aids are used in public education. Taxonomic aids like zoological parks are important for aesthetics and recreation. 

Question 3. Mention the names of a few botanical gardens.

Solution: Some of the famous botanical gardens are Lloyd Botanical Gardens, Darjeeling; National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow; Garden of the Indian Agriculture Institute, Dehradun.

Question 4. What are monographs?

Solution: Monographs consist of a complete systematic account of each and every bit of information available for the family or genus of an organism. It includes morphological, behavioural, geographic, anatomical and evolutionary information. For example, a monograph of Pinus.

Other Related Topics

The Living World Biological Classification Plant Kingdom
Animal Kingdom Morphology of Flowering Plants Anatomy of Flowering Plants
Structural Organization in Animals Cells: The Unit of Life Biomolecules
Cell Cycle and Division Transport in Plants Mineral Nutrition
Photosynthesis in Higher Plants Respiration in Plants Plant Growth and Development
Digestion and Absorption Breathing and Exchange of Gases Body Fluids and Circulation
Excretory Products and their Elimination Locomotion and Movement Neural Control and Coordination
Chemical Coordination and Integration
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