Names for BioDiv Informatics

B.J.Tindall bti at DSMZ.DE
Tue Feb 1 10:36:11 CST 2005

Dear Wolfgang,
Unfortunately, the points you raise are exactly the ones which I have been
raisng over the past 6 years. Since bacteriology and virology do have
complete lists and we know exactly how they were put together, as well as
what they are meant to contain it is rather surprising that lists of names
do "surface" on the Internet which totally disregard the original intent.

Most of your points relating to taxonomic opinion are things which we have
to live with. It is likely that science may reach a general consensus on
the taxonomic treatment of some groups, whereas in other cases there may
continue to be debate and two names may continue to be used side by side.
Provided this is made clear I do not see this as being a problem. It does,
however, become a problem if the information, which is originally correct
is distorted.


At 05:10 1.2.2005 EST, Faunaplan at AOL.COM wrote:
>Dear All
>so far, published information on taxa is distributed in thousands of papers &
>websites and unpublished data are mainly deposited in collections ("libraries
>of life"). Still there is no infrastructure for easy access to such vital
>information, but GBIF and its partners have started to build the roads...
>What I feel is still basically missing are checklists of valid names that
>could serve as keyword directories for the fast-growing biodiversity info
>Ron Gatrell has recently used the term "taxonomically correct names" when he
>announced the Lepidoptera checklists, and many taxonomists have already
>created wonderful on-line checklists of valid names.
>But, will there ever be checklists of universally accepted/ valid names?
>In my understanding, valid names are all Code-compliant names that are
>accepted by individual taxonomists according to their preferred concepts.
>Bembidion (Nothocys) jeannelicum Toledano, 2002 and Nothocys nitidus
Jeannel, 1962
>are both valid/ accepted names for the same neotropic ground beetle, and I
>cannot say one is "correct" and the other one is not; it depends on
whether you
>prefer Bembidion as a wide or narrow genus...
>Yet there is no doubt that universally accepted names lists for the purposes
>of biodiversity informatics would facilitate a lot of things. So why not
use a
>specific term in order to avoid confusion, - e.g. "standard names",
>"keynames", or whatever you prefer.
>Such names would have to be carefully checked for Code-compliance, and they
>should represent current systematic concepts as far as possible (preferrably
>staying on a moderate "conservative" side, especially in context with
>splitting of traditional genera).
>In other words, we would have 3 categories of names that should not be
>1.) Available/ validly published names, i.e., all names that are Code
>compliant incl. synonyms, etc.
>2.) Valid/ accepted names, i.e., all names that are accepted as valid by
>individual taxonomists/ representing alternative classifications.
>3.) "Standard names" (or whatever term you prefer), i.e., all names that are
>recommended for biodiversity informatics purposes; names that would
>facilitate globally compatible "species banks", on-line species
distribution maps,
>google searches, etc.
>Such lists (with yearly updates) could be organized by GBIF partners, - and,
>actually, they are already offered for several groups of organisms (e.g.,
>Species2000 checklists).
>Well, these are just some musings that came to my mind while finishing the
>second edition of the carabid beetle checklist.
>I do feel enthusiastic about the chance to contribute to the CoL (Catalogue
>of Life) but the names I can provide should not be misunderstood as
>disapproving alternative taxonomic concepts...
>Best wishes,
>Wolfgang Lorenz
>Buero/ Verlag fuer Faunistik und Umweltplanung
>D-82327 Tutzing

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