Member # 1
posted 18. July 2005 15:55
Trends in Ecology & Evolution April 2005
Conserving taxonomic complexity
Richard A. Ennos, Graham C. French and Peter M. Hollingsworth
Abstract:Traditional species-based conservation programmes are appropriate in situations where species are readily identifiable. However, in certain taxonomically complex groups of organisms, generally characterized by the presence of uniparental lineages and reticulate evolution, it is not possible to classify biodiversity into discrete and unambiguous species. Attempts to impose species-based conservation on such taxonomically complex groups are proving untenable, and threaten to divert scarce resources and taxonomic expertise from the conservation of other priority groups. We argue here that a new approach should be adopted for taxonomically complex groups. We advocate the conservation of evolutionary processes that generate taxonomic biodiversity, rather than the preservation of a limited number of poorly defined taxa arising from this evolution.