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Exploring The Avian Biodiversity Of Africa With Different Species Concepts

Date:
September 28, 2005
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
A recent debate over the usefulness and relevance of the widely used Biological Species Concept, based on reproductive isolation, versus the Phylogenetic Species Concept, which is centred around identifying the smallest group with common ancestry, has raised concerns that changing nomenclatural foundations might result in the appearance of previously unrecognized patterns of biodiversity.

A recent debate over the usefulness and relevance of the widely usedBiological Species Concept, based on reproductive isolation, versus thePhylogenetic Species Concept, which is centred around identifying thesmallest group with common ancestry, has raised concerns that changingnomenclatural foundations might result in the appearance of previouslyunrecognized patterns of biodiversity.

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A recent study, published in the journal Ecography evaluates thissuggestion on a continental scale for the first time, using a datasetthat encompasses the entire bird fauna of sub-Saharan Africa.Identifying 1,572 biological species defined in the African 'Atlas ofSpeciation' and 2,098 phylogenetic species, the study found thatlarge-scale patterns of species richness and endemisms were remarkablyrobust to changes in species concepts. By in-depth analysis, the studywas able to document further complexity within long-recognized centresof endemism.

Both species concepts agree on their view on endemism, withcertain areas acting as "species pumps" and large intervening areasbeing characterised by a predominance of widespread species, whichdistribute themselves in accordance with contemporary environmentalconditions.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Exploring The Avian Biodiversity Of Africa With Different Species Concepts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050928082144.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, September 28). Exploring The Avian Biodiversity Of Africa With Different Species Concepts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050928082144.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Exploring The Avian Biodiversity Of Africa With Different Species Concepts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050928082144.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

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