25.04.2017: Fernando FERNANDEZ MENDOZA (Graz): Taxonomic shades of grey Caloplaca species - is phylogenetic species delimitation always reasonable? Hörsaal 31.11, Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Bereich Pflanzenphysiologie, Schubertstraße 51, um 17:00 Uhr.
“In the beginning was the word, which slowly became binomial. Then words were hierarchically clustered in higher categories based on the homology of morphological traits. Thus all was ordered and patterns were slowly falling into place. But when the extrolites came all was changed, and when the genes arrived, all was made cryptic so men could not tell the light from the dark anymore. All patterns were broken in the light of phylogenetics. All beauty was cryptic in the eyes of the beholder…”
The introduction of molecular methods to study biodiversity, completely changed how we understand taxonomy and systematics. Modern methods of inference (phylogenetic or not), although aimed at being objective, are often rooted in concepts and assumptions that may bias their results and hamper their interpretation. Studying the diversity of the lichen genus Pyrenodesmia provides an interesting example in which phylogenetic and population genetic methods struggle to explain the biology behind the high genetic and morphological diversity observed.