Kartesz Checklist

Scott Ranger ranger at AMERICA.NET
Tue May 5 08:27:07 CDT 1998

I'm hearing/overhearing/reading a number of comments on checklists these
days, usually involving Kartesz' "A Synonymized Checklist of the
Vascular Flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland," 2nd ed,
1994, and the derived PLANTS database maintained by the Natural
Resources Conservation Service that are at least somewhat critical to
downright hostile to these lists.

My question is, what--specifically--are the criticisms? The work of
Kartesz is a mammoth undertaking that understandably will have errors
and--horror of horrors--differing opinions on taxonmic standing of
particular presentations from many people (I have a few of them
myself!). But with his list and the PLANTS database, there is at least a
beginning point. Many herbaria have begun to use Kartesz as the basis
for their organization. Seems like a good idea and it could sure make
cataloging easier to have something of a standard, however weak it may
be. It seems useful to use it as a starting point in many works, and an
author can make a note where he differs.

Scott Ranger

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