But it does not a ppear to be aptly reflected in the

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Unformatted text preview: uch more species - level d iversity among Madagascar’s lemurs than was evident only a c ouple of decades ago, and that this diversity is much more c omplexly structured than we had thought. But it does not a ppear to be aptly reflected in the hard - line procedural adop tion of the PSC across the board, a move that typically results i n fifty-percent inflation in species numbers relative to those y ielded by biological concepts. I argue here that the reflexive w holesale application of the PSC to Madagascar’s lemurs is i nappropriate from both systematic and conservation standpoints, and that a return to biological species concepts, and to t he corresponding criteria for species recognition, will allow us t o attain a much fuller and more nuanced appreciation of lemur d iversity at low taxonomic levels. RÉSUMÉ Depuis la fin du siècle dernier, nous avons été les témoins d’une e xplosion du nombre d’espèces de primates à Madagascar. C ette profusion découle cependant bien moins de l’évolution de n os connaissances sur les lémuriens que de la substitution des c oncepts biologiques de l’espèce par le Concept Phylogénétique d e l’Espèce (CPE ou Phylogenetic Species Concept – PSC), ce d ernier considérant l’espèce comme le plus petit groupe irré ductible d’organismes qui puisse être différencié d’un autre g roupe. L’autapomorphie (c’est - à - dire la possession de cara ctères dérivés uniques, morphologiques et moléculaires) est a insi devenue ‘le’ critère pour distinguer les espèces, de sorte q ue la quasi - totalité des sous - espèces de lémuriens ont dis paru des listes fauniques de Madagascar ; sachant cependant I NTRODUCTION Madagascar’s biodiversity is legendary, although especially in t he case of the island’s endemic mammals it bears a distinctly i nsular aspect, with rather few major taxa represented by an u ndeniable profusion of species. But just how great is that profu sion? The question is a deceptively simple one, for it involves n ot only notions of what species are in the abstract, but of how t hey may be operationally recognized. This is important; for, w hile everyone can agree that species are the basic “kinds” of o rganisms in the living world, opinions may legitimately differ o n just how they are bounded, and even on how we can know t hose boundaries exist, and where they lie. VOLUME 8 ISSUE 1 JULY 2013 M ADAGASCAR C ONSERVATION & D EVELOPMENT M adagascar Conservation & Development is the journal o f Indian Ocean e-Ink. It is produced under the respon sibility of this institution. The views expressed in contri butions to MCD are solely those of the authors and not t hose of the journal editors or the publisher. INVESTING FOR A SUSTAINABLE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF HUMANS, ANIMALS AND PLANTS OF MADAGASCAR IN THIS ISSUE Zones of intermediality model All the Issues and articles are freely available at http://www.journalmcd.com Debunking deforestation myths Geoconservation and geodiversity Contact Journal MCD info@journalmcd.ne...
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