[Taxacom] Family Epacridaceae (and Order Ericales)

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at freeler.nl
Tue Mar 31 04:32:18 CDT 2009

From: "Les Watson" <leswatson at westnet.com.au>
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 3:50 AM

> Jim Croft wrote:

>> Apart from us, who really uses subfamilies?

> Taxonomic products should assist with defining informative samples for
> investigative and experimental work, and subfamilies and tribes can be
> as important as families and genera in this context. Potential clients
> are few but significant.

As a rule of thumb, subfamilies are less important than families (but not
universally, think Mimosoideae, a clearly recognised unit! Much better known
than any of a number of small, 'obscure' families). However, as arguments
go, this is not really relevant; it comes with the territory, if subfamilies
were more important the Code would have dealt with this problem before now.

My proposal essentially is very simple. If a taxon is well-known enough to
have its name protected at the rank of family, then this exact same
protection should be maintained if it is reduced in rank: Epacridaceae
becomes Epacridoideae, Malaceae becomes Maloideae, etc. This protection is 
thus limited to the list of names of families that are conserved, and only 
for Spermatophytes. It uses the same mechanism as for those infrafamilial 
taxa that include the type of the family.

This is the minimalistic approach, as opposed to opening all (or some of)
the ranks below that of family (and above that of genus) for conservation,
which to me looks like a bigger departure from current practice.


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