[Taxacom] Integrative taxonomy

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sat Jul 31 22:13:57 CDT 2010


>The fragmentation has already happened

No, it has STARTED, but is not yet complete. As long as we all have to work 
within the same (ICZN/ICBN) system, there is some hope ...

>that taxonomists of all persuasions join the growing consensus that what we want 
>to denominate with Linnean taxon names are lineages in an explicit evolutionary 
>framework

Yes and no, Linnean taxa are lineages that have become distinct in APPROPRIATE 
ways. DNA only distinctions are not appropriate (IMHO), though they may help to 
point to other appropriate distinctions.

>that we need a temporary, public storage place for such entities while evidence 
>is accumulating

Crap! Evidence accumulates without end. The "temporary, public storage place" is 
the darn Linnean binomial (in the case of species), and if counterevidence 
should present itself down the track, then we can synonymize appropriately

ALL binomials are tentative to some extent, so we don't need another class of 
tentative names ...

Stephen



________________________________
From: Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
Cc: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Sun, 1 August, 2010 2:51:53 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Integrative taxonomy

Hi, Stephen.

The fragmentation has already happened, which is the point of the FIZ article. 
There are tree-based and non-tree-based taxonomists, molecular and non-molecular 
taxonomists. To slow the fragmentation and move towards unity, the authors 
suggest

(a) that taxonomists of all persuasions join the growing consensus that what we 
want to denominate with Linnean taxon names are lineages in an explicit 
evolutionary framework,

(b) that evidence for such nameable entities can come from morphological, 
molecular, ecological, behavioural, etc studies [and they forgot 
biogeographical],

(c) that this information needs to be integrated to make a sound scientific case 
for a distinctive evolutionary lineage (integration by your 'sensible' and my 
'knowledgeable' taxonomists; I wrote 'real' at first...),

(d) that we need a temporary, public storage place for such entities while 
evidence is accumulating.

Not a bad argument, IMO. In fact, I can see its value for morphology-only 
taxonomy as well. I recently published a monograph on a Tasmanian millipede 
genus with 19 species, 18 new. It took 2 years to gather the extra specimens and 
the character data. Some of the species were 'done' before others. Those 'done' 
ones could have become candidate Tasmaniosoma spp for conservation and other 
purposes before I published formally, if there were a mechanism for doing so. 
The split here isn't between molecular and non-molecular taxonomy, it's between 
Code-valid and provisional taxonomy.
-- 
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
03 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/?articleID=570



      


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