[Taxacom] Provisional species name

Urmas Kõljalg urmas.koljalg at ut.ee
Wed Mar 16 11:36:06 CDT 2011


Thank you for everybody who replied personally or through the list!

I am interested to know the whole topic. How to handle provisional (informal) names in biodiversity/molecular databases and how to build provisional names. Specifically how to build and handle the names of "new" species which are based on DNA sequences only. Ecologists and taxonomists need anchor for such cases in order to communicate in their research papers. And such species names must be part of the web based keys. Databases and automated keys can easily handle provisional names if they exist.

Australian CHAH/HISCOM standard system for building informal names seems to be quite useful. However I still personally support Linnean system. Because it is easy, universal and there is no better system available in my knowledge. So, why should we build another system which will make in my mind everything less clear and more difficult to handle?
What actually will preclude the implementation of latinised provisional names? The major problem seems to be that we will introduce not validly published names. But such names are generated anyway. So, why not to go forward and implement system for the registration of provisional names which follow Linnean system? Including type specimen or type sequence, authorship, date/time and some other mandatory metadata?

If we still need another system for the informal names why not to use for the epithet ID of the "type specimen" (like UPS123001) or GenBank ID of the "type sequence". Provisional names should have type material/sequence anyway because otherwise they are useless for the scientific communication purposes. 

Best wishes,

On 16.03.2011, at 14:34, jbruhl at une.edu.au wrote:

> Dear Urmas
> Do you mean how to handle these in a herbarium database or do you mean how
> to format the provisional name?
> If the latter, see Plunkett GT, Bruhl JJ, Telford IRH (2009) Two new,
> sympatric species of Wahlenbergia (Campanulaceae) from the New England
> Tableland escarpment, New South Wales, Australia. Australian Systematic
> Botany 22, 319-331.
> e.g.
> "These are here referred to as Wahlenbergia sp. Pt Lookout (J.B. Williams
> NE 24181) and W. glabra subsp. Pt Lookout (I.R. Telford 10887)."
> See http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/herbnews/cpbrnews69.html
> "For informal (phrase) names it was agreed that these would all be
> included if coined and published before the end of 2005, in the format in
> which they had originally appeared.Only major orthographic variants of
> phrase names will be listed. If a phrase name is required for interim
> listing (eg in case of conservation) and no latinised published name is
> available, then a phrase name will be coined in the CHAH/HISCOM style
> described by Bill Barker in ASBS Newsletter 122: 11–12 (2005). All
> users/coiners of new informal names are urged to adopt this style in
> future, and to encourage this, it was resolved that after 31 December
> 2005, the only new phrase names to be accepted into the CC will be those
> constructed in the CHAH/HISCOM style. All others will be ignored."
> Cheers
> Jeremy Bruhl
> --------
> Dear all,
> Can you suggest any database model (or paper discussing this) where
> provisional names of the new taxa are implemented?
> Best wishes,
> Urmas Kõljalg
> _______________
> Prof. Urmas Kõljalg
> 40 Lai Str.
> Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
> University of Tartu
> EE-51005 Tartu
> Estonia
> UNITE - A molecular database for the identification of fungi
> http://unite.ut.ee
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