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Torstrom, S. M., Pangle, K., & Swanson, B. J. (2014). Shedding subspecies: The influence of genetics on reptile subspecies taxonomy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 76, 134–143. 
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich (06 Jul 2014 16:17:26 UTC)
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Torstrom2014
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Categories: General
Keywords: Chelydra serpentina, Chelydridae, Chrysemys picta, Emydidae, Genetik - genetics, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises, Systematik - taxonomy
Creators: Pangle, Swanson, Torstrom
Collection: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
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Views index: 25%
Popularity index: 6.25%
Highlights Subspecies decreased after genetic studies while the number of species increased. Taxonomic changes were not influenced by specific genetic or study variables. Genetic distance significantly differed between subspecies elevated to species and subspecies collapsed. 9 species definitions were applied when evaluating subspecies taxonomy. Abstract The subspecies concept influences multiple aspects of biology and management. The ‘molecular revolution’ altered traditional methods (morphological traits) of subspecies classification by applying genetic analyses resulting in alternative or contradictory classifications. We evaluated recent reptile literature for bias in the recommendations regarding subspecies status when genetic data were included. Reviewing characteristics of the study, genetic variables, genetic distance values and noting the species concepts, we found that subspecies were more likely elevated to species when using genetic analysis. However, there was no predictive relationship between variables used and taxonomic recommendation. There was a significant difference between the median genetic distance values when researchers elevated or collapsed a subspecies. Our review found nine different concepts of species used when recommending taxonomic change, and studies incorporating multiple species concepts were more likely to recommend a taxonomic change. Since using genetic techniques significantly alter reptile taxonomy there is a need to establish a standard method to determine the species–subspecies boundary in order to effectively use the subspecies classification for research and conservation purposes.
Added by: Sarina Wunderlich  
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