[Taxacom] Herbarium sequence revisited

Edwards, G.B. edwardg at doacs.state.fl.us
Tue Jun 6 14:12:52 CDT 2006

Of course, this brings up another point.  It's easier to find something
alphabetically IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR.  Writing as an
arthropod specialist, especially one who deals with amateurs on a
regular basis, I find it is often easier for someone TO IDENTIFY AN
UNKNOWN by looking through a collection that is arranged
phylogenetically, the net effect of which is that related taxa that are
similar in appearance are frequently stored close together.  Many times
an identification can be made faster this way than by struggling through
a sequence of family, genus, and/or species keys.  The success of this
method certainly depends on the group, and it may not work as well for
plants, I don't know.

G. B. Edwards, Ph.D.  [Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman] 
Curator: Arachnida (except Acari), Myriapoda, Terrestrial Crustacea,
Florida State Collection of Arthropods, FDACS, Division of Plant
P.O.Box 147100, 1911 SW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32614-7100 USA 
(352) 372-3505 x194; fax (352) 334-0737; edwardg at doacs.state.fl.us 

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Karl Magnacca
Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2006 12:34 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Herbarium sequence revisited

It depends on how people are going to be using it.  There's no question 
that it's easier to find things if they're arranged alphabetically.  
This is especially the case for non-botanists, since orders of plants 
(unlike insects) are not obvious to the casual observer.  Thus, if 
people are working mostly within a family or in only a couple, then it 
makes more sense to put the families in alphabetical order and post the 
phylogeny on the wall.  However, if people are mostly doing work among 
larger groups - i.e., multiple related families at once - then it makes 
more sense to put them phylogenetically, or at least alphabetically by 
order, and post an alphabetic listing of families on the wall.

Karl Magnacca
ESPM Dept., UC-Berkeley
137 Mulford Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720

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