David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Poiesis and Praxis 3 (1-2):62-72 (2004)
Species are the basis of the taxonomic scheme. They are the lowest taxonomic category that are used as units for describing biodiversity and evolution. In this contribution we discuss the current species concept for prokaryotes. Such organisms are considered to represent the widest diversity among living organisms. Species is currently circumscribed as follows: A prokaryotic species is a category that circumscribes a (preferably) genomically coherent group of individual isolates/strains sharing a high degree of similarity in (many) independent features, comparatively tested under highly standardized conditions. Although the number of described prokaryotic species is underrepresented in the living world, this phylo-phenetic or polythetic species concept currently in use is considered to be pragmatic, operational and universally applicable and successfully used for identification processes
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