A zoologist asks: botanical names practice

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at ISTAR.CA
Fri Jun 18 11:07:20 CDT 2004

Ron Gatrelle wrote:

>  Perhaps some need to be reminded that a taxon is ONLY what the
> original author presented it as (that hypothesis, paradigm, delineation,
> affixation - about 200 other such terms).  ... after
> the fact and (correctly or incorrectly) re asses and re associate taxa.

>    Without the reference to the author's original
> publication (------, 1760) everyone is only GUESSING as to what that
> taxon _and_ the nomenclature was originally presented to be.

* but surely if one were to cite the recent author whose taxonomic
concept one is employing by using the name, that recent taxonomic author
provides the link back to the original description. We don't cite
Priestley every time we mention oxygen. My concern is that using names
implies taking a position on the taxonomy of each taxon referenced, and
that if the taxonomy has changed a citation to a recent publication does
that more compactly and unambiguously than a citation to the original
publication of the name (i.e. "names are used in the sense of the AOU
Checklist (1983) except as noted.")

>  My most recent paper dealt with two taxa were actually
> not only the same subspecies, but originated from basically the same
> location!!   All someone had to do was start at
> the beginning.... do the boring paper chase... and some field
> collecting.

* or in other words, knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and good
scholarship to bad - but this doesn't impact very much (I think) on the
question of routine citation of authors and dates in lists of species in
non-taxonomic publications (which is where this thread started).

           Bishops Mills Natural History Centre
Frederick W. Schueler, Aleta Karstad, Jennifer Helene Schueler
      RR#2 Bishops Mills, Ontario, Canada K0G 1T0
   on the Smiths Falls Limestone Plain 44* 52'N 75* 42'W
     (613)258-3107 <bckcdb at istar.ca> http://pinicola.ca
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