Species and Systematics

Published by: University of California Press

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Species and Systematics

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Beyond Cladistics

The Branching of a Paradigm

David M. Williams

Cladistics, or phylogenetic systematics—an approach to discovering, unraveling, and testing hypotheses of evolutionary history—took hold during a turbulent and acrimonious time in the history of systematics. During this period—the 1960s and 1970s—much of the foundation of modern systematic methodology was established as cladistic approaches became widely accepted. Virtually complete by the end of the 1980s, the wide perception has been that little has changed. This volume vividly illustrates that cladistic methodologies have continued to be developed, improved upon, and effectively used in ever widening analytically imaginative ways.

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Comparative Biogeography

Discovering and Classifying Biogeographical Patterns of a Dynamic Earth

Lynne Parenti

To unravel the complex shared history of the Earth and its life forms, biogeographers analyze patterns of biodiversity, species distribution, and geological history. So far, the field of biogeography has been fragmented into divergent systematic and evolutionary approaches, with no overarching or unifying research theme or method. In this text, Lynne Parenti and Malte Ebach address this discord and outline comparative tools to unify biogeography. Rooted in phylogenetic systematics, this comparative biogeographic approach offers a comprehensive empirical framework for discovering and deciphering the patterns and processes of the distribution of life on Earth. The authors cover biogeography from its fundamental ideas to the most effective ways to implement them. Real-life examples illustrate concepts and problems, including the first comparative biogeographical analysis of the Indo-West Pacific, an introduction to biogeographical concepts rooted in the earth sciences, and the integration of phylogeny, evolution and earth history.

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Molecular Panbiogeography of the Tropics

Michael Heads

Molecular studies reveal highly ordered geographic patterns in plant and animal distributions. The tropics illustrate these patterns of community immobilism leading to allopatric differentiation, as well as other patterns of mobilism, range expansion, and overlap of taxa. Integrating Earth history and biogeography, Molecular Panbiogeography of the Tropics is an alternative view of distributional history in which groups are older than suggested by fossils and fossil-calibrated molecular clocks. The author discusses possible causes for the endemism of high-level taxa in tropical America and Madagascar, and overlapping clades in South America, Africa, and Asia. The book concludes with a critique of adaptation by selection, founded on biogeography and recent work in genetics.

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