What Species Mean: A User's Guide to the Units of Biodiversity

Julia D. Sigwart

August 21, 2018 Forthcoming by CRC Press
Reference - 224 Pages - 19 Color & 22 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781498799379 - CAT# K30581
Series: Species and Systematics

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  • Reviews species concepts, the idea of taxonomic ranks, and the Linnean system of classification.
  • Discusses various aspects of biodiversity and factors that influence biodiversity through time
  • Distinguishes the need for names in micro- and macro-evolutionary studies
  • Anticipates the future of taxonomy and its role in studies of biodiversity


Everyone uses species names and yet there are communication gaps between those who who name species (systematists) and those who use species names (everyone). Species are real, and have macroevolutionary meaning. And it follows that systematists have a broadly macroevolution-oriented approach to describing diversity. But taxon names are used by all areas of science, including many fields such as ecology that come from a strictly microevolution-centric approach. This book is intended to explore why different groups of scientists understand and use taxa in very different ways, and the consequences for measuring and understanding biodiversity.


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