Botanical nomenclatural query

Jacques Melot jacques.melot at ISHOLF.IS
Wed Apr 3 17:24:43 CST 2002


  Le 29/03/02, à 10:02 -0500, nous recevions de Michael Vincent :

>Dear Botanical TAXACOM members:
>
>A debate has been raging among some botanists about whether a certain taxon
>was validly published, with some having very strong opinions that it was
>and others having equally strong opinions that it was not, so I thought I'd
>run it past TAXACOM members...
>
>About a decade ago, a botanist published a new variety of plant, and the
>variety was validly and effectively published, with Latin diagnosis and
>type designated, so there is no problem with that name at that rank.
>
>A few years later, a very prominent botanist decided that the taxon
>deserved specific rank.  He decided that the varietal epithet was not
>appropriate for the species, and coined a new epithet for the species,
>calling it a "nom. et stat. nov."



    Ce nom est formellement valide et légitime (en supposant que
toutes les autres conditions nécessaires sont satisfaites), mais le
procédé employé est critiquable: l'usage de "was not appropriate"
indique très souvent un changement de nom pour une raison uniquement
étymologique, ce qui est une erreur. L'étymologie des noms ou des
épithètes dans la nomenclature linnéenne n'a strictement AUCUNE
IMPORTANCE. La seule chose qui importe est l'univocité de la
nomenclature. Un NOM est un SIGNE, rien de plus.

    Il est parfois utile, pour des RAISONS TECHNIQUES, de profiter de
la liberté qu'accorde l'art. 11.2 ("In no case does a name have
priority outside the rank in which it is published.") pour changer
d'épithète. Mais profiter d'un changement de rang pour changer
d'épithète pour des raisons purement esthétiques ou étymologiques
(cf. les raisons données dans l'art. 51.1, "inappropriate,
disagreable, better known, has lost its orginal meaning") est une
mauvaise pratique: elle montre qu'on n'a pas compris le principe de
base de la nomenclature linnéenne (c'est souvent aussi une faute
contre l'éthique).

    Jacques Melot


P.-S.  Cf.

Art. 51, ex. 4 (changement d'épithète uniquement pour raison
étymologique; épithète impropre) :

The name Petrosimonia oppositifolia (Pall.) Litv. (1911), based on
Polycnemum oppositifolium Pall. (1771), is not to be rejected MERELY
because the species has leaves only partly opposite, and partly
alternate, although there is another closely related species,
Petrosimonia brachiata (Pall.) Bunge, having all its leaves opposite.





>He made clear and direct reference to
>the varietal name and its publication, and the same type was used.  The new
>name was published effectively.
>
>The debate has been over whether this was a valid way to publish the new
>species name.  Things would have been simple if the varietal epithet had
>simply been raised to the new rank, which then would have been a "comb. nov."
>
>Can I have opinions about the validity of the "nom. et stat. nov."?
>
>(My own opinion is that it was validly published...)
>
>Thanks.
>M.A. Vincent
>
>Dr. Michael A. Vincent, Curator
>W.S. Turrell Herbarium (MU)
>Department of Botany
>Miami University
>Oxford, Ohio 45056 USA
>
>TEL:  513-529-2755
>FAX:  513-529-4243
>Email:  Vincenma at muohio.edu




More information about the Taxacom mailing list