[Taxacom] ITS, Species 2000,

Mary Barkworth Mary at biology.usu.edu
Fri May 25 11:57:50 CDT 2007

OK - without questioning anyone's intent:

Yesterday I was looking for Trisetum montanum on GBIF. It was listed as
a synonym of T. spicatum, with ITIS as the authority. This is a common
treatment - and one that is reflected in FNA 24 (which I edited). What
bothers me is that it is not an unequivocal synonym, nor even a
universally accepted synonym: and Victor Finot, who has revised all
American (North, Central, and South) members of Trisetum sensu lato (see
http://utc.usu.edu/grassbib.htm) considers that it should be recognized
at the species level.  IF GBIF (and ITIS) were to list the name as
*sometimes* included in T. spicatum, that would be fine but it does not.

In response to Orrell's comment, I went on the Catalogue of Life Web
site. Trisetum montanum is also listed there as a synonym of Trisetum
spicatum. There is no indication that there is a current difference of
opinion about its treatment. Oddly enough, Trisetum montanum var.
montanum is listed as an accepted name, T. montanum var. shearii as a
synonym for T. spicatum. 

We do ourselves a disservice by presenting opinions as facts. I also
dislike the idea that we are, de facto, being told that there is a body
that will make the taxonomic decisions for the world.  At least state
real sources for a taxonomic judgement, which I hope are published
treatments, not the faceless ITIS - which Outlook keeps wanting to make
"IT IS" ;-). 


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