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Abstract Detail

Systematics Section/ASPT

Barkworth, Mary [1], Larson, Gary [2].

Name changes: can we reduce the frustration they create? .

Having to learn new names for familiar taxa is frustrating; trying to explain the reasons for new names can be even more frustrating. Tools for DNA sequencing and analysis have led to new interpretations of phylogenetic relationships. This in turn has led to new taxonomic treatments and hence, changes in nomenclature, sometimes without discussion of their impact on existing taxonomic circumscriptions other than a listing of names. Other changes are required for conformity with the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). At the same time, there has been an explosion of activity in many related fields, fields in which the use of scientific names is expected because, it is thought, such names will be stable and globally understood. This premise is frequently questioned, particularly by those working with plants, the taxon that involves more non-taxonomists than other groups covered by the ICN. We need to consider whether the ICN could be modified to increase the stability of names without impeding systematic/taxonomic research, for example, by expanding conservation to more ranks and/or setting limits on priority. Equally importantly, we need to be pro-active in helping users of scientific names discover why particular changes are necessary/desirable and their impact on existing taxonomic circumscriptions, preferably in terms that resonate with non-taxonomists. This last may not always be feasible but we must try if we wish to increase recognition of the value of taxonomic knowledge and the nomenclatural structure it supports. 

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1 - Utah State University, Department Of Biology, 5305 OLD MAIN HILL, Logan, UT, 84322-5305, USA
2 - South Dakota State University, Dept. of Natural Resource Management, P.O. Box 2104A, Brookings, SD, 57007-0595, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Payette/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: 4012
Abstract ID:247
Candidate for Awards:None

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