Biofilms have emergent properties which transcend the characteristics of
their component microbial populations. They may be self-organizing
biological systems - units of activity, proliferation, propagation,
ecology, and evolution - the reproductive success of the biofilm as a
whole being dependent upon the microbial interactions and synergisms
This means that we may need a formalized system of biofilm systematics.
If there is more than one kind of biofilm, how should we name each of
them so we can discuss them? Should we give them numbers (like
bacterial viruses) or ecological names (e.g. grassland, mixed conifer
forest, etc.) How should they be classified, differentiated, and
identified? This seems an important step if biofilm microbiology is to
mature as a scientific discipline.