Real species AND subspecies

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Apr 17 12:07:37 CDT 2004

Dear All,
     I haven't had time to read all the posts this morning so forgive me if I repeat what others have said.  To me subspecies are just as real as species.  However, that said, I think subspecies more ephemeral (less stable over long periods of time) than species are.  They don't have that reproductive discreteness (discretion) developed yet, and semispecies (in the gray zone, if you will) are well on their way to developing that discreteness.
      Therefore, species are seen as more important and stable entities to deal with.  But I must admit I would like to see a lot more use of trinomials.  When I was hired by ASC to be coauthor/co-editor of Mammals Species of the World (First Edition), I had already completed an unpublished catalogue of all mammals down to the subspecies level.  Unfortunately my desire to include subspecies in the book did not come to pass.  I encountered a lot of frustration in dealing with that project, because I think we could have made it even better than it turn out to be.  So it goes.
     Sorry to rush this, but it is a beautiful day out, I have more "cultivars" to plant in my garden and bird "species" to watch.  Realistically this is the last week to hope to see any more whooping cranes fly over Hays (and tomorrow the winds are going to be far too gusty for whoopers in the air), so I've got to get back outside.
               ----- Cheers,
                         Ken Kinman

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