Botanical Web Wish List.

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at MOBOT.ORG
Tue Jan 27 09:07:35 CST 2004

>From my perspective, Peter Stevens' Angiosperm Phylogeny Website is on the
>one hand an amazing achievement (for a one-man effort)

Hilary Davis makes the whole thing work.

>  but on the other hand
>so far from what such a site should be that I am not sure I regard it as a
>web-based resource. Rather it is a sketch of the potential of such a

Damned with faint praise!  Actually, you are quite right, and in
discussions before I put it up, I said (and have repeated many times
since) that what I really wanted was a data matrix at the generic
level....  And the need for something like that has been quite clear.
However, since then I have also gone "off" character states, and I
think that what the phylogeneticist needs is access to the original
observations.  Character states as conventionally conceived have
little necessarily to do with evolution.

>Actually when I think of a Botanical Web Wish List this would be headed by a
>good list of botanical names. At the moment there is IPNI, which just gives
>published names (a more than decent percentage of all names) and TROPICOS3,
>which gives current names in areas where the Missouri Botanical Garden is
>active. This leaves quite a bit of uncharted territory when it comes to
>current names (even taking into account more isolated databases such as
>ILDIS). Lots of the public-at-large turns to IPNI, erroneously assuming
>these are current names, merely because there is no alternative.
>Going to a site listing characters (preferably illustrated)

Note that /APweb/ has a sort of listing of characters, and we have a
glossary with I don't know how many items almost ready to go.

>would only be a
>second step, and going to a site that evaluates characters a third step.

Paradoxically, perhaps, this should be done in the context of a tree...

Peter S.

>Paul van Rijckevorsel

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