Klots and species ---

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca
Wed Sep 5 13:28:51 EDT 2001

I do have one bone to pick with what Klots published. It is the notion that
"a species is a population".  If one defines them as the same then the
statement is acceptable. But my view is that a population and a species are
not at all the same 'thing'. Here is my understanding: a population is a
number of organisms that exchange genes on a regular basis. The total of all
populations with defined similarities are treated as a species from a
taxonomic perspective. Example: a bunch of Cabbage Whites live near San
Francisco on the west coast and another bunch lives near New York on the
east coast of North America. I view them as the same species but certainly
not the same population. Neither populations nor species are static in space
and time. I accept the notion that evolution does happen so one contributor
to gray vs black/white is that the differences and similarities are not
fixed and it becomes unclear at what point in time (level of
difference/similarity) to call 'same species' or 'different species'. A
classic line on this topic is "A species is what a good taxonomist says it
is".  Of course this begs the question of how to define a good vs a bad
taxonomist. Is there a good field guide that I can use to recognize a good
taxonomist ?? Maybe eye color is a good field mark :-)

Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management
845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
Phone 250-365-8610
Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca       


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