Redpoll study hits the news, part II

Redpoll study hits the news, part II… Nick and Scott’s redpoll paper was paired with a nice commentary piece by Jan Lifjeld at … “… Mason & Taylor (2015), using a large data set of genomewide SNPs, verify that [the redpolls] all belong to a single gene pool with a common evolutionary history, and with little or no geographical structuring. They also show that phenotypic traits used in taxonomic classifications (plumage and bill morphology) are closely associated with polygenic patterns of gene expression, presumably driven by ecological selection on a few regulatory genes. Several lessons can be learned from this study. Perhaps the most important one for taxonomy is the risk of taxonomic inflation resulting from overemphasizing phenotypic traits under local adaptation and ignoring a lack of phylogenetic signal in molecular markers.

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