To: <>
Subject: Subspecies??
From: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 16:57:31 +1030
"Well for what it is worth I think you are right but always remember that
 taxonomy is a Procrustean Bed."

To a point possibly.  Phylogenetics is real, interpretation is subjective.
I am a proponent of species-groups(SG's).  SG's are important because they
indicate to us close association between forms. Close association means
'relatively' recent divergence from a common gene pool. When a gene pool
splits new groups are formed from the split. The genera may form the pool
with the species representing the major groups from the split, with
subspecies representing members(variants) of each group. Is this not
important?  Subspecies which describe members of a species group helps to
emphasise speciation events and makes the whole picture so much clearer.
But in my experience phylogenetic taxonomists 'usually' prefer to stay right
away from subspecies. Further to this they have the annoying habit of
describing a new species when a population turns up with a unique
allozyme(protein) or DNA sequence.  Geographical reproductive isolation DOES
NOT mean speciation in my books.  This is the case where subspecies is so
very important but is pushed aside.

I know its difficult with invertebrates, but I would have thought birds
would not suffer from this problem.

Mark Newton

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