Registration of Botanical Names - unwanted? not needed?

Hugh Wilson wilson at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Fri Jul 24 08:08:21 CDT 1998

On 23 Jul 98 at 11:24, James Solomon <jsolomon at LEHMANN.MOBOT.ORG>

> Why duplicate or replace effective systems?

Does anyone really feel that current procedures for managing plant
nomenclature are effective?  I would guess that the effort to
establish centralized control for plant nomenclature is based on the
clear advantage this type of organizational path has provided for
gene sequence data and molecular biology.  If systematic biology is
to provide functional support for life science, the discipline *must*
move to stablilize its procedures for applying names and this *will*
require a centralized management system of some sort.  The primary
argument at

objects to this fundamental reality with a 'no problem - why
change?' tone.

Systematics must, in my view, come to grips with the fact it will
soon be essential for systematic structures to be relevant and usable
within a computational context and this will not be possible until
the current nomenclatural babble is brought under control. Web
references cited in the MoBot position paper:

"together on the World Wide Web as the International Plant Names Index
(see Two further projects are also in
place to provide pointers to various different online databases of
plant and fungal groups, as well as organisms from other kingdoms: the
Index To Organism
Names ( and Species
2000 ("

demonstrate, in terms of content and potential interoperability, the
problem, not a solution.  These 'indexing services' have - indeed
been - operating and successfully securing funding for many years but
I don't think that they can stand the test of time.

I can't speak to other elements of the arguments presented against
the registration initiative but it seems to me that the status quo in
this realm is *not* acceptable,  stabilization of biological
nomenclatue is 'wanted' by the life science community in general and
- as a result - it *will* occur.

Hugh D. Wilson
Texas A&M University - Biology
h-wilson at (409-845-3354)

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