[Taxacom] A simple solution?
alec.mcclay at shaw.ca
Mon Nov 15 16:07:54 CST 2010
At 11:00 AM 2010.11.15, dipteryx at freeler.nl wrote:
>What the "client" also does not want is a classification, except as
>a method for browsing. Why else could the CoL (followed by others)
>have its own version / just a plain wrong rendition of the Cronquist
>classification (this has been around for decades, so the aberration
>cannot be caused by newness or surprise)? Nobody cares. To the
>"client" a classification is just a quaint idiosynchrasy.
>I don't see it. The client does not care about an "index of life":
>he wants actual (accurate) information on the actual organism(s) he
>is dealing with. The (religious?) pursuit of
>a Tree-of-Life does not concern him in any professional capacity /
>for any practical purpose: a Tree-of_Life is good for entertainment
>only, a headline and few paragraphs in the Saturday/Sunday paper.
This may be true of many users but certainly not all. Biological
control researchers make increasing use of phylogenetic information
when designing test plant lists for host specificity determination
(see e.g. Briese, D.T., and A. Walker. 2008. Choosing the right
plants to test: The host-specificity of Longitarsus sp. (Coleoptera:
Chrysomelidae) a potential biological control agent of Heliotropium
amplexicaule. Biological Control 44: 271-285.) It does actually make
a difference to us whether Scrophulariaceae is monophyletic or
polyphyletic, or whether Jacobaea is really part of Senecio. So there
is at least one tiny constituency within your user community that
cares about trees as well as names, and I suspect there may be others
I will now return to following this debate from the sidelines, with
awe and fascination and a vague, dawning sense that there is actually
some progress towards a consensus.
Alec McClay, Ph.D., P. Biol.
15 Greenbriar Crescent
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Canada T8H 1H8
Phone (780) 464-4962
Mobile (780) 953-4077
Fax (780) 410-0496
Email <mailto:alec.mcclay at shaw.ca>alec.mcclay at shaw.ca or
<mailto:biocontrol at mcclay-ecoscience.com>biocontrol at mcclay-ecoscience.com
Biological control, invasive species, insect-plant ecology
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