Why is classification important?

+81 votes
asked Jun 25, 2015 in Science by Justin (790 points)
Why do we need classification to manage biodiversity?

3 Answers

+10 votes
answered Jun 28, 2015 by Vassili (1,140 points)

The importance of classification is rooted in the facts below:

  1. It helps in the clear identification of species by scientists.
  2. It also helps in the general study, observation and the organization of all concentrated conservation efforts to preserve the different species that exist in our biodiversity.
  3. It is a very important way of differentiating and recognizing different types of organisms, making important scientific and biological predictions as regards organisms of the same type, classifying how the different types of organisms relate with one another and providing specific names for each of the organisms.

Details

Though it appears quite counter-intuitive and strange, the classification of organisms helps bring to mind some of their most common characteristics. It would be almost impossible to remember every detail about each organism without first placing it in a category with other organisms that share its features. For instance, supposing we classify an animal as a cat, without further investigation, instantly, we know that it is an animal with four legs, a pair of ears, a tail and whiskers, according to their mode of classification.

Understanding the techniques and mechanisms employed in the classification of animals can go a long way to help predict the possible characteristics expected of a certain animal, putting into consideration what is observed from others in the same classification. Let us still use the cat as an example-supposing you own a cat and you have noticed the cat's impressive jumping abilities, and you know tigers are also in the same classification with the cat, automatically, you will expect that the tiger will equally have impressive jumping abilities even when you know every little about the tiger. In addition, scientists rely on classification to give proper explanations as regards the relationships that exist between different organisms. This is quite helpful when it comes to reconstructing the evolutionary ancestors of any species.

Conclusively, the taxonomic nomenclature of each organism helps provide a very unique name that makes the description of the organism easier. This often becomes a serious issue with the common names certain animals are known with. A good example is the fish known as pickerel in both Canada and the United States; however, one is edible while the other is not. The reason being that though they share a common name, they belong to very different species scientifically. Scientific names provide us with clear information and explanations on this issue than the common names of these organisms.

+4 votes
answered Jun 29, 2015 by Joseph (640 points)

It is important to classify organisms because of the following five reasons:

  1. Identifying unknown species.
  2. Grouping new organisms with already existing ones.
  3. Assigning names to different organisms also known as nomenclature.
  4. Provision of a reference for already identified organisms.
  5. As the universally accepted language for easy communication.
+2 votes
answered Jun 27, 2015 by Geanelle (740 points)

Why is classification important? By assorting the similarities and differences existing amongst the different species of organisms we have through a comparative study, it is easy to classify organisms into sets or groups.

  • It makes studying a wide variety of different organisms easier.
  • It gives us an excellent picture of every aspect of life form at a single glance.
  • It makes the interrelationship between different species easily understood.
  • It provides a very strong base for the growth of other areas of biological sciences and studies like biogeography.
  • All fields of applied biology such as public health, agriculture, and environmental biology largely depend on the classification of components of the ecosystem, pathogens, disease vectors, and pests. 
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