Names for BioDiv Informatics

Michael W Palmer carex at OKSTATE.EDU
Tue Feb 1 10:31:50 CST 2005


With respect to biodiversity informatics, I think there is also a need for
an 'inventory of inventories'.  This sort of project falls between the
cracks, and is very difficult to get funded.  But it is a good resource to
assess common usage of names, whether or not they are valid.  It is also
useful for quantifying biodiversity at multiple scales and through time.
For an example of an 'inventory of inventories', see my floras project at:
www.okstate.edu/artsci/botany/floras
--Mike

Michael W. Palmer
Botany Dept. OSU
104 LSE   Stillwater OK 74078 USA
405-744-7717  fax:405-744-7074
 http://ecology.okstate.edu/
 http://www.okstate.edu/artsci/botany/
carex at okstate.edu




Faunaplan at AOL.COM
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02/01/2005 04:10 AM
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        Subject:        [TAXACOM] Names for BioDiv Informatics


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websites and unpublished data are mainly deposited in collections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
system.

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.
E.g.,
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
premature
splitting of traditional genera).
In other words, we would have 3 categories of names that should not be
confused:
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
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------

Wolfgang Lorenz
Buero/ Verlag fuer Faunistik und Umweltplanung
D-82327 Tutzing
Germany

www.carabidfauna.net




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