What, if anything, are species?  book cover
1st Edition

What, if anything, are species?

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 18, 2021
ISBN 9781498714549
March 18, 2021 Forthcoming by CRC Press
176 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $24.00
was $120.00
USD $96.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book is an extended argument for abandoning the various single concepts and the "species" rank. The author proposes that the rank of "species" be replaced by a pluralistic view. In such taxonomy, the smallest identifiable lineages would be used within various divergent phylogenies in a context dependent manner. In such a view, "species" represents different sorts of things depending on the organism/lineage being considered. In practice, this is what is already done although it is not formally recognized.


Key selling Features:

  • Proposes the replacement of restrictive species concepts with a pluralistic view
  • Suggests abandoning the formal taxonomic rank of "species"
  • Considers zoological, botanical and microbiological aspects of the species level
  • Deals with practical issues such as conservation, inventories and field guides
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. History and Background of Species Concepts. The Author's Personal History of Grappling with Species Concepts Over a 30-Year Period. What Should the Species Level Represent Within the Current Ranked Codes of Nomenclature, Botanical, Zoological and Bacterial? The Need for Pluralism Because of Different Biologies in Different Taxa. a Phylogenetic Species Concept. What Should Happen to Taxa at the Traditional Species Level Under a Rankless Code of Nomenclature? General Principles of Rankless Classification. Getting Rid of the Species Rank. What Would the World Be Like Without the Species Rank? Practical Issues: Conservation, Inventories and Field Guides. Scientific Issues: How to Proceed in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology? Philosophical Issues: What Evolves? What Interacts in an Ecosystem? Who Are the Actors in the "Ecological Theater and the Evolutionary Play?"

    View More



    Brent Mishler is Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley, as well as a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, where he teaches systematics and plant diversity. A native southern Californian, he attended Bonita High School in La Verne, California and worked for Los Angeles County as a ranger-naturalist at San Dimas Canyon County Park, where he became interested in natural history and especially botany. He attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he received his B.S. degree in Biology in 1975 and his M.S. in biology in 1978. He then received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984, and was on the faculty at Duke University in Durham, NC for nine years before moving to UC Berkeley in 1993.