Kartesz Checklist

Hugh Wilson wilson at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Tue May 5 08:39:13 CDT 1998

I agree - a recent message indicated "problems" with the BONAP
checklist with a suggestion of "caution" - what are these problems?
Systems under development here for both specimen data entry - see:


and web access to entered data - see:


are based on nomenclatural stability and a classification 'standard'
provided by the BONAP data set.  Since our design is based on input
from multiple herbaria and web expression of merged data, a data
exchange standard was needed and the BONAP set is the *only*
standard available in digital form for the vascular plants of North
America.  Thus, the BONAP standard has been adopted by the Flora of
Texas Consortium


as a fundamental element of its common data exchange format.  Given
similar use of this data set by others working in web-based
floristics, it would be useful if those aware of  "problems" could
provide info regarding their nature and extent.

On  5 May 98 at 8:27, Scott Ranger <ranger at AMERICA.NET> wrote:

Date:          Tue, 5 May 1998 08:27:07 -0400
Reply-to:      Scott Ranger <ranger at AMERICA.NET>
From:          Scott Ranger <ranger at AMERICA.NET>
Subject:       Kartesz Checklist
To:            Multiple recipients of list TAXACOM <TAXACOM at CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU>

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

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

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