A zoologist asks: botanical names practice

Mary Barkworth Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU
Thu Jun 17 13:26:46 CDT 2004

References to original citations are SOMETIMES necessary.  If one is
investing a nomenclatural or taxonomic question they are necessary. They
do not add anything to an ecological paper unless the person has really
gone to the trouble of looking up the descriptions and types.  Do you
expect people to carry out a taxonomic investigation of each plant name
associated with species a butterfly visits when the paper is about the

Citing an original paper, just as citing an author, will not guarantee
that two people are using a name in the same manner. Stipa occidentalis
Thurber is interpreted differently in different floras. All concepts
include the type; some concepts include more other types than others.
The type and original description are the basis for the name and
indicate the original author's interpretation - but that is all.   

I think that part of the problem here is failure to distinguish between
papers that are taxonomic and/or nomenclatural in nature and those that
use the results of taxonomy.  

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