Chapter

Systematics of the Desert Woodrat Complex

James L. Patton, David G. Huckaby and Sergio Ticul Álvarez-Castañeda

in The Evolutionary History and a Systematic Revision of Woodrats of the Neotoma lepida Group

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520098664
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942592 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520098664.003.0007
Systematics of the Desert Woodrat Complex

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Sites and Marshall both summarize the major species concepts in the current literature and the objective, testable, and operational criteria that have been used to delimit species in nature. Species are those entities in nature that have a uniquely defined evolutionary trajectory and are diagnosable by morphological or other kinds of characters. Evidence for an independent evolutionary trajectory comes from both character-based tree topologies that depict hypotheses of lineage distinctness and from multiple gene sequences or other types of molecular data. Sites and Marshall summarize 12 operational “programs” designed to define species in nature on objective grounds, and discuss strengths and limitations along with the types of data suitable for each. Seven of these are nontree-based methods; five depend on lineage delimitation based on the construction of phylogenetic trees.

Keywords: Marshall; morphological character; trajectory; Sites; topologies

Chapter.  8671 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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