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Clines: an Auxiliary Taxonomic Principle

Nature volume 142, pages 219220 (30 July 1938) | Download Citation

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Abstract

MODERN taxonomy, after a phase of 'splitting', adopted the integrating principle of geographical replacement, thus uniting numerous forms previously styled species as geographical races or subspecies of a polytypic species or Formenkreis1. It seems desirable, however, to go still further in the direction of synthesis. The naming and description of sub specific forms, however necessary, is not sufficient. Further, if not supplemented by some other method, it has two actual disadvantages–it focuses undue attention on named forms as against those which remain unnamed, even when the degree of distinctness is only slightly less in the latter; it also conveys a false impression of uniformity within the named group, and thus tends to inhibit the study of intra-group regularities of variation.

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Affiliations

  1. F.R.S., Zoological Society, Regent's Park, London

    • JULIAN HUXLEY

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/142219a0

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