Taxonomy: more than lumping and splitting

While this isn’t really lab news, I wanted to call attention to an ongoing discussion over at Anole Annals regarding a recently proposed reclassification that advocates breaking up the genus Anolis into eight genera (Nicholson et al. 2012; pdf). Regardless of your stance (or lack thereof) on the taxonomy of anoles, this series of posts is worth checking out. Taken together, it represents a really nice example of the integrative nature of modern evolutionary biology and how taxonomic decisions have an impact. There are currently about 20 posts on topics ranging from timing and patterns of ecological diversification, to phylogenetics and divergence time estimation, to consideration of the impact of changing taxonomy (under both linnean and rank-free classifications), along with many thoughtful comments from a large number of biologists in the anole research community (and even a few that aren’t).

An introductory post by Jonathan Losos kicks off the discussion:

The Proposal To Split Anolis Into Eight Genera: Time To Discuss 

Also see Rich Glor’s recent post summarizing the whole series:

Discussion Of Nicholson Et Al. Monograph Continues



Posted in herps, phylogenetics