Redeposit of type material

Gillis Een kbo-gillis at NRM.SE
Fri Aug 11 02:00:00 CDT 1995


Reg: Redeposit of type material.

I have not followed this discussion in detail.

My field of interest is bryology. I am working on a
collection of mosses from the Mascarenes.

Let all types stay where they have been deposited
originally. They are not for everyday use anyway, and the
site of old deposits may have been published hundreds of
times over the centuries.

I happened to have in front of me a publication by Shan-
Hsiung Lin from 1984 in which I just read about a species
of moss that at present has the name Catagonium nitens ssp.
nitens (Bridel) Cardot. It was first published in 1812 as
Leskea nitens on material from "Insulis Borboniae et
Franciae". 23 more synonyms are listed. Its known
distribution today includes Argentina, Australia, Chile,
Kerguelen Island, Marion Island, New Guinea, New Zealand,
South Georgia, Swaziland and Tanzania.

The two neighbour islands mentioned for the type are today
called Reunion and Mauritius. The first one is a department
of France and the second one is an independent nation.
Political geography is funny sometimes.

Should the type be redeposited to Mauritius or to Reunion,
or perhaps to Paris - where it may find itself at present
anyway. In any case a relocation would be of little use to
bryologists in South America, Africa or Australia where you
have the main distribution. Which nation - political unit -
does this moss "belong" to?

One of the big problems in tropical bryology is caused by
the fact that the Berlin herbarium was destroyed during the
latest great war. That can happen anywhere in the future.
You can not avoid it by shifting unique types from one
locality to another, but I think that museums that have
stored and lent types with care for centuries have
something to say for themselves, wherever they are

  Best regards
   Gillis Een
kbo-gillis at

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