Ambiregnal names (quibbling cf. PhyloCode)

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 29 21:08:45 CST 2003

Dear All,
       Just following up on the last "hyphenation" posts by Steve (and Paul).  It seems to me that traditionally the ICBN pretty much covered whatever the ICZN didn't (and even  a few protists groups that it did, leading to "ambiregnal" claims and names for some protists such as euglenoprotists).  Thus ICBN governs eumycotans (which clearly are not plants), and the same was long true for bacteria as well (and still is for the cyanobacteria).
       As I stated yesterday, I think cyanobacteria will eventually be governed by the Bacteriological Code when the time seems right to do so with minimal disruption.  And we are increasingly able to phylogenetically divide the "slimey" protists between ICBN and ICZN----slime molds are generally allied with amoebae ("animals" in the broad sense) and slime nets and water molds are heterokonts ("plants" in the broad sense).
      I would hope at the very least, botanists would abandon their nomenclatural claim to cyanobacteria and slime molds (especially the latter, being closer to amoebae than to true fungi).  I don't even like the term "fungi", either with a lower case "f" and certainly not as a formal taxon with a capital "F".  Eumycota is a much more clear cut, holophyletic grouping, even with the inclusion of microsporidians.  If "molds" are polyphyletic, then "fungi" are even more so.
       Anyway, in my opinion, the BioCode would be an ideal solution to ambiregnal problems for two reasons:  (1) it could negotiate solutions for the remaining ambiregnal problem taxa (like euglenoprotists and dinoprotists); and (2) it would provide a "unified" traditional body for resisting the incursions by extremist members of the PhyloCode community.
      Let's face it, these little nomenclatural spats between ICBN and ICZN over a few protists is really minor stuff compared to what we face from the potential mess of a PhyloCode nomenclature that will almost certainly not remain independent and non-aggressive (as its moderate proponents claim).  It will spread like a cancer (and has already gravely infected the "lymph nodes" of reptilian nomenclature).  I judge them by their deeds, not their words.
     The nomenclature of various "molds" is minor quibbling in comparison, and I have already expressed my opinion which should be governed by ICZN and which by ICBN.  By the way, Thomas Cavalier-Smith and I agree on the nomenclatural treatment of slime molds and euglenozoans (zoological) and cyanobacteria (bacteriological).  However, I still use botanical names for dinophytes (as opposed to regarding them as dinozoans), since they are apparently the precursors of the chromist chloroplasts of heterokonts (which are almost universally treated as botanical).  Thus I regard dinoprotists as the most difficult case to resolve in our little ambiregnal spats.
           --------- Ken Kinman

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