Despite acceptance in the scientific community that population information and suites of characters are crucial for circumscription of taxonomic groups, new taxa continue to be published on the basis of few herbarium specimens. Given that there is increasing evidence that hybridisation plays an integral part in evolution, it is desirable to identify groups in which it occurs.
In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Marczewski et al. showcase how population variation can be used to identify distinguishing characters and why closely related species that are growing in sympatry should be considered when describing new taxonomic entities.
Marczewski, T., Ma, Y.-P., Zhang, X.-M., Sun, W.-B., & Marczewski, A. J. (2016). Why is population information crucial for taxonomy? A case study involving a hybrid swarm and related varieties. AoB Plants, 8, plw070. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aobpla/plw070
AoB PLANTS is an open-access, online journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of environmental and evolutionary biology. Published by Oxford University Press, AoB PLANTS provides a fast-track pathway for publishing high-quality research, where papers are available online to anyone, anywhere free of charge. Reasons to publish in AoB PLANTS include double-blind peer review of manuscripts, rapid processing time and low open-access charges.