Genus as the species

Eileen Campbell btaeec at UPE.AC.ZA
Fri Apr 9 12:59:41 CDT 1999

I work in the field of algae (microalgae to be specific) but I have noticed
that many macroalgal papers, with the exception of taxonomic papers, use the
generic name in the way you have described. This seems to be a particular
problem in mariculture papers - and there are many. I soldier on, trying to
stamp out such practice locally, but it will be a big task. I'm told that
"that is the way it is done!" I've converted a few physiologists, and will
continue to try. I'm pleased that you are dismayed by this tendency Geoff -
I felt a bit alone in insisting on the correct format. At least I am
confident that not all editors will allow such poor use of generic names.
Botanica Marina (e.g.) will not publish an incorrect taxonomic use
of an algal name - I've discussed this with the editor, Gerald Boalch.
However, there are others that accept the poor taxonomic practice you refer
to, Geoff.

Best wishes to you all
Eileen Campbell

Senior Lecturer & Curator of the Ria Olivier Herbarium (PEU)
Department of Botany
University of Port Elizabeth
P O Box 1600
Port Elizabeth 6000
South Africa

e-mail: btaeec at

-----Original Message-----
From: Geoff Read < at NIWA.CRI.NZ>
To: Multiple recipients of list TAXACOM <TAXACOM at CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU>
Date: 09 April 1999 10:40
Subject: Genus as the species

>Dear colleagues,
>A reasonably prestigious journal, disguised here as  the Journal of
>Abstruse Marine Experiments, allows its authors to refer to species by
>generic name alone. In the  example paper I have in mind there are many
>tens of species within the genera other than the ones experimented upon. I
>have to say that within context of this paper there was no confusion
>created, the binomials were given a couple of times, and that it read quite
>well. However,  I personally draw the line at a sloppy sentence like
>the other two species, [genus name] showed no significant responses ...".
>My objection is  that  the genus name is not one species, but a collective
>term for a large group of them, and the reponse of the rest is unknown and
>may be quite different from the one experimented upon.
>Is this journal editor atypical? Would you as referee approve an abstract
>with this sentence: "We observed differences among the three species ...
>although significant changes ... only occurred in [genus name] and [genus
>  Geoff Read < at>

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