Coalescent-based species delimitation in an integrative taxonomy

Matthew K. Fujita*, Adam D. Leaché, Frank T. Burbrink, Jimmy A. McGuire, Craig Moritz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

668 Citations (Scopus)


The statistical rigor of species delimitation has increased dramatically over the past decade. Coalescent theory provides powerful models for population genetic inference, and is now increasingly important in phylogenetics and speciation research. By applying probabilistic models, coalescent-based species delimitation provides clear and objective testing of alternative hypotheses of evolutionary independence. As acquisition of multilocus data becomes increasingly automated, coalescent-based species delimitation will improve the discovery, resolution, consistency, and stability of the taxonomy of species. Along with other tools and data types, coalescent-based species delimitation will play an important role in an integrative taxonomy that emphasizes the identification of species limits and the processes that have promoted lineage diversification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-488
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


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