Define the use of computers in numerical taxonomy, Biology

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Define the Use of Computers in Numerical Taxonomy

The use of computers in numerical taxonomy has made it possible to compare a large number of characters from many organisms with relative ease. After comparisons of the organisms they are grouped according to overall similarity or dissimilarity and wherever necessary presented graphically.

The number of characters studied in numerical  taxonomy are usually about 50-100 from approximately the same or greater number of organisms.

The term organism in this field refers to individuals, populations, specific genera or any other taxonomic category and so far this reason they are generally called as 'operational taxonomic units' or 'OTUs'.

The different conditions in which the identification characters occur are known as 'character state'. A particular organ may be absent or present, functional or non-functional. In such simple cases they are said to be 'two state characters'.

Many traits, however, exhibit a number of possible states and so are termed as multistate characters. Both two state characters and multistate characters may be qualitative or quantitative. Now let us see the stepwise manner in which numerical data is prepared and analysed.


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