The idea of this forum

Discussion in 'Codex taxinomiae plantarum (CTP)' started by Braem, Nov 19, 2006.

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  1. Nov 19, 2006 #1

    Braem

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    Hi Folks,

    it had become evident that there are a lot of questions about taxonomy, identification of hybrids, etc. etc.

    This issue is extremely important. Therefore we consider it a good idea to devote a separate forum to these questions. Those of you that have been following the "General Taxonomy" tread have had a taste of the questions involved.

    The rules we all have to work with (taxonomists, hybridizers, commercial growers, etc.) are obviously not satisfactory. The idea is that we discuss the issues, identify the problems and try and figure out new and applicable rules. At the end of the day, we can formulate new rules and either set up our own set or make proposals to change the existing ones. (I will explain this later).

    I suggest that we use this tread to discuss general questions of procedure. Remember that we have to discuss publication problems, systematic delineation problems. Of course, if we don't know the rules to delineate species and to decide which taxa are valid and effective (with other words, which name is applicable), we also don't know how to delineate a hybrid.

    One thing we have to decide on is whether we separate "Botany" and "Horticulture" in two treads.

    What I would like to see is what is called "brainstorming". Just think of what aspect of taxonomy and horticulture you have problems with. And lets take it from there.

    Please remember that I also have other committments. The idea for this discussion is from me, and I obviously am prepared to devote time on this. But I need help. We need experienced growers who know the problems surrounding hybrids. And we need taxonomists as well as anyone interested in the subject.

    OK, I kicked the ball and it is rolling. Lets see where the players are.

    regards
    Guido
     
  2. Nov 20, 2006 #2

    littlefrog

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    Can I ask a not exactly slipper question?

    In AOS judging saturday we had two plants (pleurothallids) that were described by Luer to be: "Identical to species X, but with smaller flowers" (to loosely paraphrase). Now, I know pleurothallids are tough, and there are like seventeen zillion species out there, but do we really need to use flower/plant size as a diagnostic character?

    I had a Paph. charlesworthii bloom out last month with a flower the size of a US quarter, can we name that new species after me?

    But this is a serious question. Can we use flower size to separate species? Should we? Is there an argument here for reducing some of these pleurothallid species to synonymy?
     
  3. Nov 20, 2006 #3

    Braem

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    Flower size

    Rob,

    when we discuss the rules, they apply to all orchids (and plants).

    To your questions:
    Flower size ALONE cannot be a taxonomic marker. (That answers your first question, but I know that when Dr. med. ret. Luer speaks about pleurothallids, quite a few people throw themselves on the ground in adoration.)
    I do not wish to hide my astonishment about seeing someone doing "taxonomy" by describing two taxa as new and autonomous species when he himself calls them "identical" to an existing species. I sure hope he did not conduct his surgery that way.
    I will refrain for any further comment on the subject for today.

    Ergo, I deeply regret to have to tell you, that I feel not called upon to describe the small flowered charlesworthii as a separate species in your honour. I am sure that you will be exceptionally graceful and forgive me.;)

    So to your serious question: NO (first and second part) and YES (third part). ANY species founded on flower size ALONE is to be challenged. (The same, by the way is to be said about flower colour).

    regards
    Guido




     
  4. Nov 20, 2006 #4

    slippertalker

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    From a horticultural perspective, I see a pending split between taxonomy and
    a solution for growers. Most of us are traditionalists and enjoy some continuity over time, hence once we have identified a plant we desire some permanence to the name. This obviously is contrary to the ever evolving world of taxonomy as relationships are reviewed and (perhaps) better understood.
    The recent changes with RHS registrations are causing a LOT of confusion which will continue when the taxons keep changing. Going back in time and trying to make sense of hybrids since the beginning under this continual revisionist plan just doesn't work.
    I would have no problem with the registrations of hybrids remaining as they have always been under the previously understood names for continuity, while at the same time letting taxonomists proceed with never ending splitting.
    Most of us have serious problems with the lumping of Brazilian species under Sophronitis, and will continue to call them under the old names. Will this drive a split between taxonomists and horticulturists?
    The recent renaming of the wallisii, warscewiczianum, popowii,etc group is confusing as hell and will lead to more misnamed crosses as some are made under old names and some under new names......
     
  5. Nov 20, 2006 #5

    Braem

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    Problems

    OK ... but you are referring to many different problems that are intertwined. The renaming of plants :D has its validity in some cases. Horticulturist, whether they want or not, have to live with it.

    Continuity over time CAN be good but is unrealistic. Everything in the world evolves. You are certainly not driving the same car you did forty years ago. And I could use other examples ... Such as elections. You elect a new president at least every 8 years.
    Another one: Do you want to have surgery done by someone using methods that are 40 years old?

    On the other hand, you don't want any changes in taxonomy. The reasoning is, I am afraid, not quite logical.

    The idea is to find ways the solve the problems. Stopping taxonomist from doing their work is NOT the solution. We have to find ways to deal with hybrids even when the names of the parents have changed.

    PS. Of course, lumping the Brazilian Laelias into Sophronites is nonsence. Whoever puts Laelia purpurata (to use the old name) together with Sophronites coccinea in one genus should get new glasses.

    Guido







     
  6. Nov 20, 2006 #6

    gonewild

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    But using the 40 year old car example.... Just because the original car maker has been bought out by a new manufacturer with a new company name does not change the name of the old car. A 40 year old Datsun is still a Datsun not a Nissan. Changing the model name would not work either.

    And, because we have a new president every 8 years does not change the name of the old ones. If the USA suddenly has a King instead of a President we will not refer to George Washington as the first King.

    I think registered plant names should remain constant regardless of new taxonomic policies.

    And why do horticulturists have to live with new names taxonomists change to?
     
  7. Nov 20, 2006 #7

    slippertalker

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    Guido,

    I don't disagree with much of what you have said, but my premise was that taxonomy and horticulture don't always have common interests. Continuity is GOOD for horticulture, and having a clear idea of the parentage of a cross works for most of us. I like the fact that Paph Leeanum is still Paph Leeanum.
    The registration system has changed little over time, but the chess pieces have.

    If you read my earlier statement a bit more carefully, you will see that at no time did I state that I didn't want changes in taxonomy. By definition, taxonomy will constantly be exposed to change by science, opinion or bias, and new discoveries.

    My position is that the static system of orchid registration should be kept seperate from the evolving system of genera splitters. I don't see the illogic of that argument. The only other way to fix the system is to start over from the beginning with both systems, and that's virtually impossible.

    Taxonomists can, should and will attend to their trade. Their ideas differ, change, and befuddle each other. Why should the RHS registration system be caught up in this turf battle when it could all be changed tomorrow? I blame the recent registration changes on the RHS for altering their previously conservative approach to name changes.

    In my opinion, the dichotomy between the two is derived from different goals.
    Neither has the ability to adapt to the other...........
     
  8. Nov 20, 2006 #8
    sorry about the stupid question, but...

    why can't we just lump all the cattleyas, laelias, sophronitis, brassavolas, schomburgkias, etc etc into one? ie just call them all Laelinae etc etc... eg. Laelia purpurata = Laelinae purpurata; Sophronitis coccinea = Laelinae coccinea; etc etc...

    you can still keep the names Cattleya, Laelia, Sophronitis but used on a level which is similar to say cochlopetalum or brachypetalum in the Paphiopedilum genera...

    This way, the taxonomists can keep moving things around to better show the relationships, but the horticulturists need only remember a few 'Genera' or 'Family'...

    how far back we go though... maybe all the way back to Orchidacae.. e.g Orchidacae purpurata, Orchidacae coccinea (although there would be heaps of doubling up..)
     
  9. Nov 20, 2006 #9
    Great Idea Guido!!

    As someone who is active in the orchid buissness and has a minor background in Plant Taxonomy I feel like I can be a link between the 2 worlds of Horticulture and Plant Taxonomy, so count me in to help in anyway I can.

    Robert
     
  10. Nov 20, 2006 #10
    By the way, I like your idea Bench72, and I don't think it was a stupid question. Actually I believe that Julian Shaw, the orchid registrar of the RHS, had the same idea as you (regarding putting related genera like Cattleya, Laelia, Sophronitis etc all into one "Super Genus", so it was not too far off.

    Robert
     
  11. Nov 21, 2006 #11

    Braem

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    OK, we don't change the plant. We just change the name. So, it is still a Datsun, we just give it a new designation.

    Sure but you will do what your new president says, and not what George Washington says (if he were able to say anything)

     
  12. Nov 21, 2006 #12

    Braem

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    I don't have any problem with that. But that means we are setting up two entirely different worlds.
    OK I will go along with that. But what is going to happen at the next orchid show and conference. There will be a lot of confused people.

    And yes, you hit the nail by saying we would have to start all over. Well, that is exactly my point. Lets draw a line and start all over. That is the only clean solution. But I am realist enough (like you) to say that we won't get away with it. But would it not be worth trying.

    Guido
     
  13. Nov 21, 2006 #13

    Braem

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    First of all, there are no stupid questions. Just arrogant people that do not want to take the time to answer the questions properly (and I don't belong to that group)

    OK You cannot use the name of one level (in this case the name of a tribe or subtribe) and turn it into another level (a genus.)
    Secondly, where would you want to stop. The end is that you can end up with one genus "Epidendrum" and make all the rest subgenera, varieties, subvarieties, forms. But you are not changing anything but the organisation of your system. The complexity remains the same, you just changing levels.

    For example you have the genus Cattleya, and now you put the genus Laelia into Cattleya as a subgenus. Fine. But do the simple maths: you start off with two taxa and you end up with two taxa. You haven't gained anything.

    Guido




     
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  14. Nov 21, 2006 #14

    gonewild

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  15. Nov 21, 2006 #15
    1. We gain by having less genera.... ie if everything is in Cattleya, then the plants cannot be moved around and renamed Sophronitis one week and Laelia the next. Sure, there will be a level that the taxonomists can play around with, but for the horticulturist, we need only remember that they are all Cattleyas and forever will remain so. Another point in this would be that we can get rid of the man made generas. Gone are the BLC, the SLC, the Potinaras... all will be one.

    2. If you don't want to confuse the tribe vs subtribe vs genera, then pick one of the current genera, e.g Laelia, and lump them all in there. Maybe choose the first described genera in the group.

    3. You are right about the complexity, but as far as the horticulturist is concerned, we only need worry about end name... the taxonomists can worry about the complex bit in the middle.

    4. I guess I'll answer the same question I hinted at (and you asked about) ie, what to do with duplication...

    Rename the buggers!

    i. I thought the taxonomists would be jumping at the chance to rename a couple of plants?
    ii. Surely it would be preferrable if a couple of plants are renamed if it means that there are less genera (maybe one) to remember. (speaking of course purely on my behalf)
    iii. I'm more than happy to allow benchii, timii, balgosii, earthii and various others that I can make up if required for new names. ;)

    So,e.g.

    Genus: Cattleya
    Subgenus: Cattleya, Sophronitis, Laelia, Schomburgkia, etc etc (taxonomists allowed to play around with)
    Species: Cattleya purpurata, Cattleya coccinea, Cattleya walkeriana (once renamed should stay as such)

    oh no... a Laelia crispa (Rchb. 1853) and a Schomburgkia crispa (Lindley 1838)

    no problem.... Schomburgkia crispa = Cattleya crispa (it was named crispa first)

    and Laelia crispa = Cattleya heatherii

    anyways.... all of a sudden this is a long post... sorry... heaps!

    cheers
    tim



     
  16. Nov 21, 2006 #16

    NYEric

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    Opinion

    I have a problem w/ Mr. Leur describing a plant as the same as species X but with smaller flowers because suppose it's a similar but different species. If one species had medicinal benefits such as a cure for cancer and another plant, the same as species X but with smaller flowers, was poisonous don't you think the difference would be critical. Taxonomists need to [more] carefull in there cataloging species because plants are really a limited resource and not maintaining their position in the Earth's ecology, and our use of the plants, could have serious consequences. With the technology available today we could register plants w/ the exact range a species is/was located in, map it's genetic markers, and do all the standard RHS descriptions.
     
  17. Nov 21, 2006 #17

    Braem

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    3=3

    Tim,

    think about it ... You are not changing anything. Your "gone" genera are now fractions of Cattleya. And if you are going to have a Cattleya subgenus Laelia, you can just as well have a genus Laelia etc.

    Lets not make chaos. The idea of taxonomy is cleaning up the desk, not to throw everything on one pile (of which I have many in my office). So you do not gain by having less genera, because loose two on this side means adding two on the other side.

    Let me explain. You get yourself three wives. Now, you find out that for some more or less irrational reason, you are only allowed one wife. OK, you divorce two and keep them as girlfriends. What have you gained. You started out with 3 women and you ended up with 3 women. Its simple maths as I have said before. 3=3=(1+2)=(1+1+1) no matter how you put it ...

    Guido

     
  18. Nov 21, 2006 #18

    slippertalker

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    Guido,

    We are already getting a lot of confusion at orchid shows with the new name changes. Many people refuse to change their plant names to the new concepts and I frankly don't blame them. On top of the taxonomic changes, RHS has changed genera names for many crosses based on the taxonomy and created a new monster. I seriously doubt if they have the ability to carry this back to the beginning of the system while dealing with synonyms (new or old) and species name changes. Keep in mind that there are 100,000 hybrids or so...

    The question is whether we can create any harmony in the discord that has been created.
     
  19. Nov 21, 2006 #19

    slippertalker

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    Guido,

    can you clarify the rules for species names.......

    For example, the ends of the species name can end in "ii" or "num"
    .....lowii or lowianum. Also the forma can be flava or flavum. Does that evolve from the genus name? There appear to be exceptions to the rules also, hence my confusion.

    thanks!
     
  20. Nov 21, 2006 #20

    NYEric

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    Slippertalker, this problem probably stemmed from a poor command of Latin. "Vidi, vinci, vini.":rollhappy:
     

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