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Posted by Richard F. Hoyer on September 26, 2002 at 23:46:19:
In Reply to: Overuse of \'subspecies\' posted by vvvddd on September 26, 2002 at 19:08:50:
Your topic is a never ending discussion (argument) amongst taxonomists and biologists in general. Since all classification systems are human constructs and thus artificial to varying degrees, the discussion will never end as it depends upon points of view and value systems that are as diverse as are the organisms that one examines.
A classical case of what you describe was the major subject of research by Dr. Robert Stebbins who authors the current Peterson Field Guide for herps here in the western U.S. Dr. Stebbins research was on the salamander Ensatina which is a classical case in point in which taxonomists have argued back and forth with respect to subspecific and species definitions.
A 1997 paper by H. Smith et. al. dealing with Subspecies and Classification appeared in Herp. Riview, 28:13 - 16
Richard F. Hoyer