Re: NANFA-- Dolly Varden news

Bruce Stallsmith (
Tue, 23 Jan 2001 16:10:01 -0500

>Dolly Varden and bull trout are members of the char (Salvelinus) subgroup
>of the
>salmon family. They were once considered to be one species under the name
>Varden. Scientific research has recently separated the two species, but
>specialists have difficulty in telling them apart visually.

Chris, you're on a roll with these press releases! This release touches on
the $64 question in many of these matters, are you sure which species you
have in hand? That question is what largely launched my manifesto about blue
pike earlier based on the posted news article. The Endangered Species Act
often deals with populations (Evolutionarily Significant Units, ESU) rather
than with whole species. Evolutionary processes work on individuals within a
population, a part of a species. So even a distinct population of "yellow
pike" (walleyes) that are part blue pike by natural processes could be
covered in this broad definition.

Luke, you prefer the Evolutionary Species Concept to the Phylogenetic
Species Concept? My problem with the ESC is the talk of "evolutionary fate"
since its future is totally unpredictable. The PSC at least is primarily
concerned with common ancestry and diagnosable character states, even with
all of its jargon baggage (synapomorphies, etc.).

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL

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