Re: Incipient species

Subject: Re: Incipient species
From: John Penhallurick <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 14:40:24 +1000 (EST)
Iain (and others)

The concept of species is not a well-defined one.  There was an excellent 
paper a few years back that talked about all kinds of species concepts.  
Which you choose would depend on the purpose you wanted it for

I've got a copy at home and could give you the reference tomorrow if 
anyone wants it.  In general, molecular methods have tended to push us in 
the direction of splitting rather than lumping.  There was another 
example in a great article in Birding a few issues back on Bell's Sparrow 
in the US south-west.  Could give you the reference for that as well if 

If you're looking in the archive, you might checkout some stuff I logged 
soon after the list opened on speciation in South America, especially in 
terms of the role of forest refuges and rivers in speciation.

It's going to take a while to get molecular data on all the interesting 
or problematic cases.  In the meantime, I suggest that more attention 
should be paid to calls as a form of prima facie evidence.  There was 
also a discussion about this, which included information that 
Cicdabirds(I think it was them) in rain forest in Nth Qld have different 
calls from those outside the rainforest.

As regards official species counts, the American Birding Association 
insists that you go by Clements, Birds of the World, as amended in Birding.

John Penhallurick

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