[Taxacom] Why stability?
stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Wed Apr 29 16:54:34 CDT 2015
There are some potential problems arising from this example. Suppose somebody today wants information about Quercus grisea. We immediately face complication (A): Is there a single uncontroversial concept (today) for Q. grisea. If so, then all is well (so far). If not, then things become more complicated. Competing concepts for the same taxon tend to arise at different times, so one needs to know if the later one uncontroversially replaces earlier ones, or else sits in competition with it. You seem to have assumed the former in your example. Complication (B): Although it certainly helps to know if and how a concept has changed, it may just be a drop in the ocean. Incorrect information about a taxon possibly results far more from misidentified specimens, particularly for taxa that have been mentioned by many authors. Without tracking and checking vouchers (if they exist, and if they are accessible), there is no way to solve this problem. But, if all you
want is descriptive taxonomic information, then this might not be a problem. But if you want specimen data (or summary data thereof), then this is likely to be a significant problem.
On Thu, 30/4/15, Nico Franz <nico.franz at asu.edu> wrote:
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Why stability?
To: "TAXACOM" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Received: Thursday, 30 April, 2015, 9:26 AM
I hope I can
address this. Mind you the general notions have been
in the TDWG community since at least
the early 1990s.
Let's make it somewhat
concrete (more abstract = easier to keep
SEINet currently displays two
circumscriptions that are labeled with the
name Quercus grisea:
That would be,
more granularly identified:
Taxonomic concept label 1: Quercus grisea sec.
FNA (1997, Nixon)
Taxonomic concept label 2:
Quercus grisea sec. VPAP (1993, Landrum)
With that kind of identifier
granularity, we can express the following:
The 1993 classification
recognizes more narrowly circumscribed concepts.
Two non-congruent theories of what the name
Quercus grisea refers to are in
might be added in the future. It might well be that in
case synonymy can account for the
different degrees in resolution. In other
cases it cannot:
returns 1349 records for the search term "Quercus
arizonica". And 1324 specimens for
"Quercus grisea". I would guess that
some of the latter 1324 specimens are also
validly identifiable to Quercus
VPAP (1993), whereas others are not.
A query that uses taxonomic
concept labels just looks like this:
Show all specimens for Quercus grisea sec. FNA
(1997, Nixon). => More
or more dense distribution.
specimens for Quercus grisea sec. VPAP (1993, Landrum).
specimens, narrower or less
So "Quercus grisea"
produces two non-identical distributions maps in a
system that handles concept-level resolution.
This requires that the
identified to the concept level in the system.
On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 1:20 PM, Peter
Hovenkamp <phovenkamp at casema.nl>
> I still
wonder (and that was the main question in my previous post)
> anyone will be able to select, for
any particular query on such a database,
> the concept that is to be used in the
query. Do you envisage "concepts of
> concepts", allowing a querier to
limit the query to at least a subset of
concepts? Or what?
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