The objective of systematics is to
- recognise, describe and label the diversity of living organisms (an essential taxonomic task)
- order and classify their natural relationships (systematics in the more literal sense)
Classical systematics examines the phylogenetic relationships of organisms using morphological
and anatomical methods as well as applying state of the art techniques like ultrastructural research.
Molecular systematics reads the information provided by the genetic material of the organisms
and analyses it with the aid of electronic data processing. By constructing phylogenetic trees
hypotheses can be established that describe the relationship and the lineage of organisms as well
as character changes in the course of evolution. Molecular systematic methods allow the detection of
relationships even if they are concealed by the adaptation to differing environmental conditions.
The individual disciplines within the field of systematics must not be regarded in isolation, but it is
their synergy that produces findings no individual discipline could reach alone.