new, probably brief subject

Les Kaufman lesk at BIO.BU.EDU
Sun Oct 10 20:33:28 CDT 1999

We all have to deal with hierarchical population structures, in which the
point at which we designate species versus semispecies, subspecies, or
races is somewhat arbitrary.  I just wondered, however, how the group
feels about allopatric (though often adjacent) sister taxa that exhibit
clear character separation (slightly different male breeding colors, in
the case of the fishes I work on), but no really remarkable differences.
Due to their incarceration in peripheral or disjunct habitat patches,
however, they are probably experiencing independent evolution.  I suspect
that this is an anthropological issue more than an evolutionary one, but
it has a big impact on conservation priorities, estimates of regional
alpha diversity, and so forth.

Les Kaufman
Boston University Marine Program
lesk at
617-353-5560 office
617-353-6965 lab
617-353-6340 fax

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