Species in the Age of Discordance

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Biological lineages move through time, space, and each other. As they do, they diversify, diverge, and grade away from and into one another. One result of this is genealogical discordance; i.e., the lineages of a biological entity may have different histories. We see this on numerous levels, from microbial networks, to holobionts, to population-level lineages. This paper considers how genealogical discordance impacts our study of species. More specifically, I consider this in the context of three framing questions: (1) How, if at all, does genealogical discordance challenge, modify, or revise how we conceive of species? (2) How has growing appreciation of genealogical discordance impacted scientific practice? Of systematics in particular? (3) How do lineages at different levels diverge and diversify? All told, genealogical discordance enriches and complicates our taxonomic ontology, as well as the practice of reconstructing phylogenies. This presents both challenges and opportunities for the study of divergence and diversification.
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Archival date: 2020-09-11
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