[Taxacom] labeling redescriptions properly

Donat Agosti agosti at amnh.org
Fri Sep 9 01:16:53 CDT 2011

Thanks for this specific exchange.

To go to the begin of this thread: We have a very modest goal, that is to
make to each use of a name (a name being qualified by and part of a
treatment, ie a name followed by some specifyer such as an observation data,
description, reference in case of a checklist, etc., in a scientific
publication)  its treatment online accessible. That means, we need the means
of displaying clearly and unambiguously that this treatment of taxon X has
been extracted in publication Y authored by Z.

This does not include any nomenclatorial nor taxonomic judgment. It is just
a different visualization of published content. Instead of its original
context, all treatments are, for example, accessible according to their
names or any search term that is accesible. Hopefully this helps or inspires
the specialists to discover all the intricate issues outlined below (eg is
it the same "taxon"? is it a homonym? Do the concepts overlap?). If the
experts then make judgments, the Species-ID would allow to make such
emendations and comments that would become accessible to everybody.

This issue might also be relevant for floras that are by definitions
geographically restricted, but often with the same species included and thus
having a protologue with several, geographically biased "redescriptions".

Since we expect that there will be an increase in treatments in the future,
we are very grateful for your input to make a well informed decision.


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
Sent: Friday, 9 September 2011 10:16 AM
To: 'Stephen Thorpe'
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] labeling redescriptions properly

> a confusion seems to arise here for the following reason:
> suppose Smith and Brown both use the name Aus bus L. 1758

> they could be using the name with the same type but different 
> taxonomic concepts  (different "sensu"), or with the same type and the 
> same concept

> *but*, they could be using the name with different types! 


> If so, one of them would be wrong, but what sense can we make of the 
> use of a name with the wrong type??

That's a misapplied usage. (Or a misidentification.)

> Or, what about use of a name before and then after subsequent type

Yes, happens a lot.
> Also, if Smith or Brown doesn't specify the L. 1758 bit of Aus bus L.
> and there are homonyms, then what?

Then we have to figure out which of the homonyms each author was implying.
> Logically, 'sec' functions in ZooBank merely as a sort of LSID creator 
> for
> name used in a work, not Aus bus L. 1758 sec Smith 2000, but Aus bus 
> sec

No.  The "sec" designation in ZooBank is specifically for records with *NO*
LSID (except for glitches in the user interface, which need to be fixed).
It simply means "this name as used in this reference, which was not the
original description of the name".

>It just means that Smith (2000) used the string 'Aus bus' as a 

Actually no -- the way the data model is structured, the "sec" specifically
refers to the protonym Aus bus Linn. 1758; not the text string "Aus bus".
That's not exactly how it's reflected in the user-interface; but as we both
know, there are many aspects of the UI that need to be fixed.

> It leaves everything else open. But, Aus bus  L. 1758 sensu Smith 2000 
> means that Smith (2000) used a taxonomic concept that may very well be 
> quite different to Linnaeus' concept, but which includes the type 
> specimen of Aus bus  L. 1758.

Yes, exactly!  That's what the "sec." designator is intended to mean.  A
name, created by an earlier author, re-used by a subsequent author.  Except
in cases of misapplication/misidentification, presumably the two taxon
concept circumscriptions (original and subsequent) both include the type
specimen, but beyond that, the taxon concepts may be congruent, overlapping,
or nested (non-overlapping would mean they don't share the type specimen,
and therefore represents a misapplication or misidentification).

> sensu  referes to a concept, but sec refers to a name in a work

Not according to my use of "sec." and "sensu", and as far as I know, not
according to Berendsohn. So I'm not sure where you're getting this
particular interpretation.



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