Phylogeography and the Role of Hybridization in Speciation: How They Arise, Modify and Vanish

TitelPhylogeography and the Role of Hybridization in Speciation: How They Arise, Modify and Vanish
MedientypBook Chapter
Jahr der Veröffentlichung2018
AutorenJoseph, L.
Seitennummerierung165 - 194
ISB Nummer978-3-319-91688-0

Human beings have a strong, innate desire to classify and name things. We like things to be clear-cut. The way we approach classification of birds is as good an example as any of this. So it always comes as something of a surprise to non-ornithologists to learn that how we classify birds at the level of the species around us is still subject of so much at times fiery debate. Various chapters in this book approach this from different perspectives. In this chapter, the focus is on reminding us that evolution is an ongoing, dynamic process and that appreciating this evolution can help us make sense of why it is sometimes so complicated to pin names on birds and indeed many other organisms. This will take us into a few particular aspects of bird evolution. One will be the process of hybridization between populations that may or may not be of the same species or between species that may or may not be each other’s closest relatives. Another will concern the study of genetic diversity that exists within a species. In particular, we will examine what we have learned from the way that that diversity has come to be apportioned and distributed across the geographical range and landscapes inhabited by a species. These two areas have opened windows into the dynamics of evolution that give us new understanding of bird species. Genetic boundaries between species and subspecies are frequently very “leaky.” Only certain parts of the genome, the entire complement of genetic material in a species, may be contributing to the differences that we can see between bird species. If the chapter can convey to the reader that we must learn to think of birds as continually evolving evolutionary lineages, then it will have had some success.


'Es spielt keine Rolle, wie schön deine Theorie ist. Es spielt keine Rolle, wie klug du bist. Passt sie nicht zu den experimentellen Ergebnissen/Beobachtungen, dann ist sie falsch!'. {nach Richard Feynman, Nobelpreis für Physik 1965}