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Species delimitation in mammals: A comment on Zachos (2018)
- Gippoliti, Spartaco
- Mammalian biology = 2019 v.94 pp. 127-131
- biodiversity, biodiversity conservation, human health, infrastructure, mammals, monitoring, phylogeny, taxonomy
- Mammalian taxonomy based on the diagnosability version of the Phylogenetic Species Concept – considered as an operational manifestation of the Evolutionary Species Concept - offers a sound and verifiable base for understanding mammalian classification. There is now strong evidence that a taxonomy dominated by the Biological Synthesis (overlumped) has had deleterious effects on biodiversity conservation, while examples of its benefits remain obscure. It is interesting to note that when dealing with important issues (such as human health) the choice of taxonomy is necessarily analysis-based. In this reply to Zachos (2018), it is emphasized that we should avoid encouraging mistrust in taxonomy that can have negative consequences for taxonomists and taxonomic infrastructures. It is reinstated that while discussion over species concepts is fully legitimate, no doubt taxonomy is crucial to effective monitoring and conservation of mammal biodiversity.