Morphological/Phenetic/Typological Species Concept

Disadvantages: Many living species have never been observed mating and then those offspring mating and raising viable. Fossils certainly can’t mate any longer, although we have to classify them. Some living organisms, e.g. bacteria don’t have sex but can swap genetic material among themselves.

upper inch of soil may be up to 2,000 per square foot (Zabkiewicz and

Whatever most people tell you, most species are still classified by their anatomical characteristics, even bacteria have distinctive shapes. So nearly all biologists make some use of this species concept some of the time. When I am out birdwatching the species I recognize are based on their morphology. Professional ornithologists may have witnessed all of the evidence for breeding, but I just note the birds’ morphology, watch their behaviour and listen to their songs, none of which proves they are good biological species.


Phylogenetic/ Cladisic Species Concept

Advantages: Morphology can be readily observed, in many cases without handling or harming the organisms. It is relatively easy to communicate with a whole range of people about morpohology.


For the broiler industry they include:

The genetic species concept can be thought of as the geneticists’ equivalent of the morphospecies concept, but the measure is genetic similarity or distance. Genetic analyses can uncover cryptic species that morphological studies would not.

For the layer industry they include:

Advantages: Can provide independent evidence for morphological and biological species. For bacteria and small organisms genetic species concepts can be very useful and save a lot of time. With automated sequencing and web databases it is now very quick to analyse DNA. It is also possible to get many samples from one individual.

Invasive Plants of California’s Wildlands

Disadvantages: This species concept also relies, to some extent, on human judgement of how much difference is enough to constitute separate species. Taking DNA can be invasive and unnerving for an animal, although many field studies can now use discarded hair, feathers, skin and so on for sequencing. Situations can arise where DNA samples get contaminated with the DNA of parasites living on or in an organism. Communicating with non-specialists about DNA taxonomy can also be very difficult.

IPCW Plant Report – California Invasive Plant Council

This is used to describe populations that are adapted to certain ecological niches and because of their adaptations will form discrete morphological clusters.

Treatment of candidemia and invasive ..

This is the species concept that many readers will have encountered and has the benefit of having a short, snappy definition. The BSC was advanced by Ernst Mayr in 1942. Mayr is still active and has worked in many areas of biology, but his seminal work was on birds. The standard wording is along the lines of:

Genetic Modification: Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages

A tool kit for educators to engage young people from 6-19 years of age on this challenging topic. Includes 11 innovative education programs and 20 ready-to-use activities appropriate for various age groups. (2014)