News from IAB

The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Re: BRYONET: local endemics

Hey, don't lump me with those "molecular phylogeneticists" who don't
realize that some recently derived species may not be reciprocally
monophyletic with another species. Its true that one can be overly
rigid with the monophyly criterion, forgetting that we are just
looking at a current snapshot of evolutionary history in progress.
If recently derived species that may not have reached monophyly yet,
based on a relatively limited amount of genetic data, present a
problem for defining species, allopolyploids are even more
problematic. It appears that many or most polyploids originated
multiple times independently; that is, are demonstrably
polyphyletic! Yet many of them seem to function as species,
including morphological, ecological, AND reproductive cohesion.
Would we really want to be strict monophyleticists (a word?) and
recognize each independent origin as a separate species despite
morphological, ecological, and genetic evidence (e.g., interbreeding)
that these polyphyletic units now function as evolutionary units ...
I may be wrong, but I think my friend Brent Mishler might say
absolutely, yes.

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