Abstract: The literature about species concepts might be larger than that about any other subject in evolutionary biology, but the issue of empirically testing species boundaries has been given little attention relative to seemingly endless debates over what species are. The practical issue of delimiting species boundaries is nevertheless of central importance to many areas of evolutionary biology. The number of recently described methods for delimiting species suggests renewed interest in the topic, and some methods are explicitly quantitative. Here, we review nine of these methods by summarizing the relevant biological properties of species amenable to empirical evaluation, the classes of data required and some of the strengths and limitations of each.
Sites, JW & JC Marshall. 2003. Delimiting species: a Renaissance issue in systematic biology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18: 462-470.