Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (9): 1004-1008.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016222

Special Issue: 物种概念专题

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

“The integrative species concept” and “species on the speciation way”

Jianquan Liu*()   

  1. Key Laboratory for Bio-resources and Eco-environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064
  • Online:2016-09-20 Published:2016-10-09
  • Contact: Liu Jianquan

Abstract:

One of the diverse species concepts defined before may only perceive one aspect of the mature species like “the blind men feel the elephant” while the mature species at the final speciation stage should have integrated all species concepts. Most “species” in the nature are on the way to the final speciation stage. However, before reaching the final speciation stage, these species undertake further cycles of speciation. Species from the repeated splits of the incomplete divergences show incomplete reproductive isolations, frequent interspecific gene flow and reticulate evolutions. In addition, the earliest divergent gene differs between different pairs of species. Therefore, the divergence orders for different species concepts vary greatly between organisms. Such random divergences lead to the extreme difficulty to define a common and accurate species concept for all “species” on the speciation way. It is better to delimitate species, publish new species and conduct taxonomic revisions based on conditions and approaches of as many species concepts as possible. In addition, incomplete reproductive isolations, limited interspecific gene flow and some ‘abnormal’ individuals not ascribed to any species due to interspecific hybridizations and within-population mutations should be widely acknowledged during species delimitations. Such circumscribed species may be more objective and scientific than previously delimitated based only on one single species concept.

Key words: integrative species concept, on the speciation way, random divergence, species delimitation