[Taxacom] Integrative taxonomy

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sat Jul 31 20:07:06 CDT 2010


Like Bob, I found the article well-written and well-researched. However, I
tend to agree with Stephen on this.  In many cases, where it involves a
lumper/splitter decision within a single already-named species, then
subspecies designations seems a good mechanism for formally proposing
"candidate" species. In my mind, this is precisely the value of the
subspecies designation -- it can be elevated to full species later when
evidence supports it, without any Code-compliance gymanstics (at least
within Zoology). And it can be ignored entirely by people who only want to
recognize "good" species. Of course, it's not so useful for candidate
species that have no obvious close allies (or more than one obvious close
ally) within a genus; but at least for the former situation (no obvious
close allies), it might be worth considering it as a full species anyway.

Also, some taxonomic disciplines (especially the marine invertebrate
community) are finding a strong need to designate "morpho-species"; which in
many cases are the same basic idea as these "candidate" species, but
sometimes are just a provisional labelling tool for specimens that require
formal taxonomic analysis later.  I am *highly* supportive of a standardized
mechanism for issuing such morpho-species labels (as well as a mechanism for
subsequently mapping/synonymizing them to/with formally-named Linnean
species); however, there is enough overlap between the needs of the
morpho-species camp and what is proposed in this paper that they ought to
get together to discuss it in a broader context before adopting any
particular mechanism.

Aloha,
Rich
[near Pearl & Hermes Reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands]

P.S. Nadia: I agree it would have been better to insert the word
"zoological" in the statement about the advent of Linnaean nomenclature;
however, do keep in mind that it was published in the journal "Frontiers in
Zoology"; and as such an unqualified "advent" date of 1753 would have also
been weird.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of 
> Stephen Thorpe
> Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2010 2:24 PM
> To: Aurélien Miralles; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Integrative taxonomy
> 
> I rather think that the candidate species idea is a bad one! 
> It complicates things without resolving anything. Species are 
> inherently hypothetical entities and always subject to new 
> evidence and/or interpretation. This is in part why we have 
> the facility to synonymize names which we previously thought 
> were good species. If a "Candidatus" proves to be a good 
> species, then we still need to track published info about it 
> when it was still a "mere Candidatus", which involves keeping 
> track of all such names as if they were "official" names - so 
> it simply just doesn't make life any easier to introduce a 
> whole new class of names to be tracked ...
> 
> Stephen
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: Aurélien Miralles <miralles.skink at gmail.com>
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Sent: Sun, 1 August, 2010 1:15:55 AM
> Subject: [Taxacom] Integrative taxonomy
> 
> Dear Taxacomers,
> 
> 
> 
> At the following link please find a recently published  
> review article (in
> open access) on integrative taxonomy, co-authored by Jose 
> Padial, Ignacio de
> la Riva, Miguel Vences and myself, which you may find of interest.
> 
> 
> 
> http://www.frontiersinzoology.com/content/7/1/16
> 
> 
> 
> We hope that this paper will contribute and stimulate the 
> discussion of  how
> taxonomy in the future can meet the goals of improving, on 
> one hand, the
> rigour of species hypotheses and, on the other hand, significantly
> accelerate the pace of species descriptions. Any feed-back 
> will be most
> welcome!
> 
> 
> 
> Sincerely, Aurelien
> 
> 
> -- 
> Aurélien MIRALLES, PhD
> 
> Postdoctoral researcher at the Zoologische Institut,
> Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany
> 
> email : miralles.skink at gmail.com / amiral at mnhn.fr
> website : http://amiralles.com/
> mobil : (+33)(0)6 78 31 39 79
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