The Biological Species Concept: A Conceptual Overview
The biological species concept (BSC) is a fundamental concept in evolutionary biology, which proposes that species are distinct and genetically isolated populations that are incapable of interbreeding. Developed in the 1940s by evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr, the BSC has been a central concept in taxonomy and evolutionary biology for decades (Griffiths, 2016). The BSC posits that species are distinct, isolated populations that are reproductively isolated from other populations, meaning that members of one species are unable to successfully interbreed with members of another species. This reproductive isolation may be the result of physical, temporal, or behavioral factors (Mayr, 1942). The BSC also argues that speciation is a gradual process that results from the accumulation of small, heritable changes over time (Mayr, 1942).
The BSC has been widely accepted and has been applied to explain the diversity of life on Earth (Futuyma, 2017). However, the concept has also been criticized for being too rigid and not applicable to all species (Futuyma, 2017). Despite these criticisms, the BSC remains a foundational concept in the field of evolutionary biology and will likely continue to be so in the foreseeable future (Kearney and Yeates, 2021). Cont….
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