species/subspecies query

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Wed Nov 15 07:56:28 CST 2000

At 04:39 PM 11/15/00 +1030, you wrote:
>Hypothetically if we have 3 different species, ie these species are closely
>related, but are geographically separated and hence each has their own
>isolated gene pool.  I'll call them species A,B&C. If we bring together the
>three species for reproductive purposes and find that A&B, B&C each
>produce viable offspring, but A&C do not produce vaible offspring..what
>situation do we have taxonomically?

Isn't this a classical "ring species"?  How are these typically handled?

Coming from a botanical background, I tend to read the BSC in an
intransitive fashion.  If two morphologically distinguishable individuals
can form viable progeny, they *may* belong to the same species or may
not.   If they cannot form viable progeny, they probably don't belong to
the same species (I have to leave room for the various incompatibility
systems some plants have to ensure xenogamy).

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at uwosh.edu
phone:      920-424-7085
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                 -- Anonymous

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