[Taxacom] Herbarium sequence revisited

Peter Stevens peter.stevens at mobot.org
Wed Jun 7 07:52:43 CDT 2006

Having been involved in some of the discussions David Mabberley has 
been having, the issue was not to modify APG, but to see if there was 
any agreement as to which particular alternatives of the "optional" 
bits of APG were preferred by the community, i.e., to see if there 
was obvious consensus.  Although it seemed like a good idea at the 
time, for general herbarium arangement/communication, having options 
is confusing rather than helpful.  Soltis, Soltis, Endress and Chase 
in their recent (last year) book took the broad viewpoint for all the 
alternatives.  For instance, they included Platanaceae in Proteaceea. 
However, this makes little sense if you think about the principles of 
phylogenetic classification laid out so nicely by Backlund and Bremer 
a few years ago. (and by the same logic, you would have to include 
Nelumbonaceae in that expanded Proteaceae....).  So in Mabberley, 
Fumariaceae are to be included in Papaveraceae, Platanaceae kept 
separate from Proteaceae, etc., etc.  I will modify /APweb/ where 
necessary (I have already started; got rid of Fumariaceae, although I 
confess with a twinge of regret; Memecylaceae are to go; Cabombaceae 
to stay.)  Things may still need tweaking a bit, but I hope we can 
then call it quits and get on with our work.


And talking of Nelumbonaceae, the mapping function of the Australian 
virtual herbarium is fantastic.  I "did" nelumbonaceae and 
Doryanthaceae yesterday just for fun.  On the map, the latter turned 
up in a place way north in Queensland, but I presume that was 
cultivated/an escape.
>Agreed! I find the systematic arrangement very useful in herbaria.
>For your information, Alex and others, David Mabberley is currently
>finalising a new edition of 'The Plant-Book'. In it, he is planning to
>use a slightly modified APG classification - modified after extensive
>discussions with other botanists, individually and in informal workshops
>here, in the Netherlands, the UK and USA over the past few years.
>In the context of arrangement of a herbarium, the Plant-Book is
>equivalent to Dalla-Torre et Harms because it assigns all genera to
>families, using a systematic classification. (Of course, it's much more
>than D-T&H because of all the information given about each genus and
>I know of a few herbaria that are using the last edition of 'The
>Plant-Book' to arrange their specimens, and I imagine there will be more
>using the new edition because of the change in classification.
>Karen W.
>  ****************************************
>Karen L. Wilson
>Acting Manager Plant Diversity Section
>National Herbarium of NSW
>Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
>Mrs Macquaries Road
>The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust is part of NSW Department of
>Environment & Conservation
>Phone: +61-2-9231 8137
>Fax: +61-2-9241 2797
>Email: karen.wilson at rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au  
>-----Original Message-----
>From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>[<mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] 
>On Behalf Of Edwards, G.B.
>Sent: Wednesday, 7 June 2006 5:13 AM
>To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Herbarium sequence revisited
>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>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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