[Taxacom] Xanthocyparis (was: Validation of taxon names)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sun Feb 19 11:46:45 CST 2012

Hi John and Paul, 
       I stand corrected. I apparently misinterpreted a
statement by someone who didn't think that the conservation of
Xanthocyparis was particularly helpful in deciding in which genus the
nootkatensis species should be placed.   

      I don't have any definite opinion on the taxonomy, and

agree that it is somewhat "hellish".  If nootkatensis clades exclusively

with the vietnamensis species, then it should be Xanthocyparis
nootkatensis (which is what it is called at the Encyclopedia of Life).
But depending on what molecular or morphological evidence one finds most

convincing, some prefer to leave it as Callitropsis, and many others
putting it back in Cupressus (to avoid making that genus paraphyletic or

simply to await more evidence to determine the best way to divide it
up).  Although many websites still list it as Chamaecyparis
nootkatensis, I think most now regard that as incorrect (but perhaps
they are just waiting for all the "hellish" dust to finally settle).
P.S.  Returning to the nomenclatural matter, I think it would be good to

devise a new voting mechanism (via the Internet), both at Congresses and

in between.  It would help expedite matters and allow a lot more people
to participate (and vote).  As it is, only those who can afford the
expense of attending in person have a vote.  Perhaps video conferencing
will eventually make travelling to such international meetings
unnecessary, and the money spent on them put to other uses (like
[Taxacom] Xanthocyparis (was: Validation of taxon names) John McNeill
johnm at rom.on.ca 
Sun Feb 19 08:46:32 CST 2012 
Previous message: [Taxacom] Xanthocyparis (was: Validation of taxon
Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] Oh, dear
-- a stupid lapsus in the last line of the posting I just made. That
should, of course, be "Leyland's cypress", not "Lawson's cypress" (which

remains uncontroversially Chamaecyparis lawsoniana). John McNeill. 
"John McNeill" 02/19/12 2:42 PM >>> 
I too was puzzled by Ken Kinman's comment as Xanthocyparis was indeed
conserved against the earlier Callitropsis at the International
Botanical Congress in Melbourne last July. This means that for those who

consider X. vietnamensis and C. nootkatensis to be congeneric, the
correct name is Xanthocyparis, with, for example. X. vietnamensis and X.

However, I have a suspicion that Ken Kinman's view that the matter was
not "finally decided" may indeed be a matter of circumscription. For
those who exclude X. vietnamensis from a genus that includes C.
nootkatensis (a defensible position according to at least one recently
published cladogram) then Callitropsis nootkatensis remains the correct
name for that species, a matter that has some significance for the name
of the widely planted interspecific, and under some circumscriptions
intergeneric, hybrid, Lawson's cypress. 
Maybe Ken can explain his view. 
John McNeill 
John McNeill, Director Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum;   Honorary
Associate, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 
Mailing address: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, Scotland,
Telephone:   +44-131-248-2848; fax: +44-131-248-2901 
Home office: +44-162-088-0651 
e-mail: jmcneill at rbge.ac.uk (mail to johnm at rom.on.ca is also read) 
"Paul van Rijckevorsel" 02/19/12 8:41 AM >>> 
I don't follow this. In as far as the 2011 Congress was supposed to make

a decision on Xanthocyparis, it did do so 
As to the time taken to make a decision, certainly in the case of
Xanthocyparis the relevant permanent Committee made up its mind quickly,

and came up with a recommendation. It must be admitted that the General
Committee then was notably slow in following up, publishing its
recommendation only after the 2011 Congress. 
It would be possible, at least theoretically, to set up a voting
mechanism that could make decisions between Congresses, but this would
be a big change as voting power at a Congress is determined, to a great
extent, by who is actually present. To be able to make decisions between

Congresses there would have to be a new mechanism to determine who has
voting rights. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kenneth Kinman" 
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:54 AM 
Subject: [Taxacom] Xanthocyparis (was: Validation of taxon names) 
Dear All, 
          Sometimes circumscription or other related

>considerations are not the biggest problem. Sometimes, we simply need a

speedier >resolution of problems by Codes, Congresses (and/or their
          The problem of Xanthocyparis was supposed
to be >finally decided at the 2011 Congress, but for some reason it was
not. In the >Internet Age, perhaps it should no longer be necessary to
delay such >decisions like they are emulating the U.S. Congress. 
            That a decision on such matters MUST

await a >physical get-together Congress seems old-fashioned and
unnecessary >in the first place (unless delay is your goal). That it was

not >finally decided in 2011 is difficult to understand. Something is
clearly >still standing in the way of timely decisions on such matters,
and in the >Internet Age there surely must be a better and more timely
way to >address such issues. Such delays were certainly inevitable in
the >past, but in the 21st Century such delays seem anachronistic and
>preventable. If the Code still prevents timely resolutions, it needs to

be >changed so that such decisions can be made quickly (a year or two at

>most). There is really no excuse for dragging out such decisions longer

>than that in a time of instant communication via Internet. 

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