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Thirty-five Years of Nemertean (Nemertea) Research-Past, Present, and Future

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Per Sundberg
Publicerad i Zoological Science
Volym 32
Nummer/häfte 6
Sidor 501-506
ISSN 0289-0003
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för biologi och miljövetenskap
Sidor 501-506
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.2108/zs140254
Ämnesord Nemertea, systematics, taxonomy, phylogeny, history, ribbon worm relationships, fresh-water nemerteans, phylum-nemertea, heteronemertean nemertea, cladistic classification, phylogeny, genus, evolution, systematics, characters, Zoology
Ämneskategorier Zoologi

Sammanfattning

Developments in nemertean research over the last 35+ years are reviewed from a systematist's perspective. Nemertean systematics and classification, until fairly recently, was not based on explicit phylogenetic hypotheses, but rather on subjective assessment of "important characters". The first cladistic analyses appeared in the 1980s and were criticized at the time by leading researchers in nemertean systematics for not taking into account convergent evolution in ribbon worm morphology. The first molecular study involving the phylum Nemertea appeared in 1992, followed by reports later in the 1990s and early 2000s. Molecular information is now commonplace in nemertean research, and has changed our understanding of evolutionary relationships within the phylum, as well as our view on species and intraspecific variation. Challenges in nemertean systematics and taxonomy are discussed, with special emphasis on future species descriptions, and how to deal with a number of species names that in all likelihood never will be encountered again. Suggestions for how to deal with these challenges are discussed.

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