Biodiversity is characterized by classification and naming of its elements: genes, species and ecosystems. The outlines the different ways to characterize biodiversity, from cultural expressions to most recent scientific endeavors such as genetic sequencing of genomes. Classifying and naming organisms is probably as old as human language. Linnean binomial nomenclature laid the foundations of taxonomy, i.e. naming species scientifically, and evolved into Codes defining rules for scientific naming of animals, plants, bacteria and viruses. Additional frameworks and databases were established to deal with genetic variability, as observed in cultivars, animal races, genetic sequences and transgenic organisms. Only 1.75 million extant species have hitherto been named scientifically, which is at most one third of the estimated number, ranging between 5 and 80 million. Classification of biodiversity is hierarchical. Modern systematics tries to reflect the “natural” system, based on the relation and genealogy of species as “products” of evolution, based on Darwin´s theory and its extensions through the “modern synthesis”. This natural system links species through genealogy, and can be visualized as a “tree of life”. The exact relation between its branches is still a matter of research and discussion. Classical systematic was mainly based on morphology, while recent investigations use molecular methods, mainly analyzing and comparing DNA sequences. Finally, there are different definitions of what exactly is a species. Taxonomy provides the core reference system and knowledge-base on which all discussion of biodiversity hinges: the framework within which biodiversity is recognized and in which species diversity characterization occurs. The most commonly used units of biological diversity are species, the basic kinds of organisms
For more details please click in the photograph bellow.