The idea of this forum

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

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  1. Nov 21, 2006 #21

    Braem

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    Yeah, and about 2,000 genera with a total of about 35,000 species . I know. But can we at least agree that the present situation stinks?

    What do we want to do? We can sit here and keep saying: "the system stinks but lets not do anything about it." In that case, lets close this forum and be happy ever after.

    Or do we want to look for solutions? But all what has been proposed does not clear the mess. You can't say, lets stick with the names we have, because lots of them are wrong. And you need a serious foundation for what you are going to do from now on.

    We have to find a way to secure the names. If that is done, we won't have to change them.


    Guido

     
  2. Nov 21, 2006 #22

    Braem

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    endings

    That is not a problem. The endings are very clearly defined in the Code, recommendation 60 C.

    to use your examples:
    "lowii" is dedicated to a male person by the name of "Low" in a substantival epithet. (Only when the name ends on "r", there is only a single "i" like in "fischeri".) (Its the genitive inflection).

    "lowianum" is identical but simply used as the ending of a adjectival epithet.
    Thus "lowianum" is identical to "lowii", but in a grammatical variation which (more or less is left to the "taste" of the author.) (Its the nominative inflection) .
    I could just as well have described "fischeri" as "fischerianum". And of course you cannot have a Phrag. fischeri and a Phrag fischerianum, these names would be homonyms.

    "flava" and "flavum" are just "sexual derivates", and they must be identical with the gender of the genus: Therefore "Cattleya flava" or "Laelia tenebrosa var. flava" but "Oncidium flavum" and "Phragmipedium besseae var. flavum" (my mistake that I have described it as "flava". That is a grammatical mistake that is automatically corrected without having any influence on the validity of the taxon. It just shows that taxonomists are mortals (if you ever quote me on this, I will deny ever to have said that:D ).

    And there are no exceptions to those recommendations.

    Guido

    PS . I decided to add the full text of the recommendation:

    ---------------

    60C.1. Personal names may be given Latin terminations and used to form specific and infraspecific epithets as follows (but see Rec. 60C.2):

    (a) If the personal name ends with a vowel or -er, substantival epithets are formed by adding the genitive inflection appropriate to the sex and number of the person(s) honoured (e.g., scopoli-i for Scopoli (m), fedtschenko-i for Fedtschenko (m), fedtschenko-ae for Fedtschenko (f), glaziou-i for Glaziou (m), lace-ae for Lace (f), gray-i for Gray (m), hooker-orum for the Hookers (m), except when the name ends with -a, in which case adding -e (singular) or -rum (plural) is appropriate (e.g. triana-e for Triana (m), pojarkova-e for Pojarkova (f), orlovskaja-e for Orlovskaja (f)).

    (b) If the personal name ends with a consonant (except -er), substantival epithets are formed by adding -i- (stem augmentation) plus the genitive inflection appropriate to the sex and number of the person(s) honoured (e.g. lecard-ii for Lecard (m), wilson-iae for Wilson (f), verlot-iorum for the Verlot brothers, braun-iarum for the Braun sisters, mason-iorum for Mason, father and daughter).

    (c) If the personal name ends with a vowel, adjectival epithets are formed by adding -an- plus the nominative singular inflection appropriate to the gender of the generic name (e.g., Cyperus heyne-anus for Heyne, Vanda lindley-ana for Lindley, Aspidium bertero-anum for Bertero), except when the personal name ends with -a in which case -n- plus the appropriate inflection is added (e.g. balansa-nus (m), balansa-na (f), and balansa-num (n) for Balansa).

    (d) If the personal name ends with a consonant, adjectival epithets are formed by adding -i- (stem augmentation) plus -an- (stem of adjectival suffix) plus the nominative singular inflection appropriate to the gender of the generic name (e.g. Rosa webb-iana for Webb, Desmodium griffith-ianum for Griffith, Verbena hassler-iana for Hassler).

    Note 1. The hyphens in the above examples are used only to set off the total appropriate termination.
    -------------------------



     
  3. Nov 21, 2006 #23

    slippertalker

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    thanks, Guido!
     
  4. Nov 21, 2006 #24

    slippertalker

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    Solutions..........

    How can you maintain a registration system with the ever changing taxonomy?

    We could certainly create a Manhattan project for orchid registrations to clear up the problems. This would need the cooperation of taxonomic authorities and horticulturists. Both parties have their differences within their own groups, and those differences need to be addressed first. If a consensus could be reached, it would take a joint effort to formulate new systems for working the problems.

    Much of what already exists could be retained, but rules of engagement (changes, amendments, etc) need to be reviewed.
    We need to look at the multiple problems and find solutions that work for everyone.........Many will be resistant to new ideas, but others will see the need for new concepts.
     
  5. Nov 22, 2006 #25
    Guido,

    maybe I am not explaining the reason why I want to 'lump' everything into bigger groups...

    I don't want to consolidate two species into one species name. I want to consolidate the Genus (maybe further up the name ladder). In the new order, if there are 35,000 species now, there will still be 35,000 species with less genus names.

    All I want to do is to make the names of the species constant once the new order is in place.

    Let me work backwards from my idea.

    Think about the Dendrobiums... currently it has a lot of species in that group. Now various taxonomists want to move plants into split genera, e.g. Thelychiton, Dockrilla, Tetrabaculum for the Australian Dendrobiums.

    Now, why can't we just retain the big Dendrobium genus and if taxonomists want to show the relationships of the plants better, then change the tree relationship...

    e.g at the moment:-

    -Laelinae
    *Laelia anceps
    *laelia purpurata
    -Cattleya
    *Cattleya walkeriana
    -Sophronitis
    *Sophronitis coccinea

    New Order
    Laelinae
    -Laelia
    *Laelia anceps (or maybe Laelinae anceps)
    -Cattleya
    *Laelia walkeriana (or Laelinae walkeriana)
    -Sophronitis
    *Laelia coccinea (Laelinae coccinea)
    *Laelia purpurata (Laelinae purpurata)

    So you haven't increased or decreased the number of species... however, the number of Genus (or whatever you want to call the new order level) is reduced to one.

    Now breed them...

    Old:-
    Laelia anceps x Cattleya walkeriana = Laeliocattleya Twilight Song
    = 3 different genus

    Laelinae anceps x Laelinae walkeriana = Laelinae Twilight Song
    = only one genus(?) to remember

    I have no problem with having the 'gone' / 'lost' genera turned into fractions of the greater Super Genus... let the taxonomists keep it to show the relationships within the Super Genus.

    What I don't want to see is that this week, Laelia purpurata is Sophronits purpurata and then tomorrow it is Cattleya purpurata. It is better that the name is constant and the relationships (which affect the grower little) is changed.

    I hope the above is clearer...



     
  6. Nov 22, 2006 #26

    Braem

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    Bench 72,

    The answer is very simple:

    1) you cannot stop the evolution of a science.
    2) if you have 7 people, you have 24 opinions - we are suffering from a democracy syndrome [Oh Lord, am I going to get flamed on that one].
    3) Everyone is allowed to do taxonomy, no matter if they understand it or not.
    4) Everyone is allowed to register hybrids, no matter how wrong their notions of the parentage is.

    Do you need more reasons why the system does not work? Or shall I tell you about the Code and what has been happening around it over the last 30 years?

    Guido
     
  7. Nov 22, 2006 #27
    Hi Mr Braem

    with great regards,
    Tim (aka bench72)
     
  8. Nov 22, 2006 #28

    Braem

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    Tim,

    Of course you are completely right. There is a big discrepancy between what happens in taxonomy and what is useful or not for the "common people". And I don't mean "common people" in a negative sense.

    But that is exactly the point. Professional taxonomy is difficult enough to follow, understand and incorporate. We sure don't need amateur taxonomists (which are 90 % of all "taxonomy" in orchids). And this is why a lot of university departments look very critical upon working with orchids unless you do molecular work

    Of course putting Laelia into Sophronitis is PURE NONSENSE, and I have said this before. The problem is that the "molecular taxonomists" get all the money and therefore, genetics is THE thing to do (because you get money for the department). And now, you create and create because you have to get the papers out to get the money. It is what we call a vicious circle.

    Unfortunately, we cannot ignore "molecular taxonomy" (and I use it myself), but one should view it as a additional method to verify and complete alphataxonomy.

    And as an afterthought: Tim, you cannot condemn something because you don't understand it. I am using a car every day. If it breaks down, I can't repair it. The same goes for computers, the same goes for the microwave, and many other things in life.

    Guido
     
  9. Nov 22, 2006 #29

    gonewild

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    Here is a twist on the subject.

    I think a good example to look at in reference to changing names of plants is books.

    Libraries function on a registration system. Each book has a number. The book is in the same place in the library each time someone looks for it. Change the number and a person goes to get their favorite book from the shelf and it is not there. The "common" reader becomes confused and leaves the library without his book. The "professional" reader simply goes to the "professional" librarian and asks where is the book now?

    I doubt the public would accept a group of professional librarians going through all written manuscripts and renaming them just to simplify the filing of the books in the library. Changing Sobralia citrina to Cattleya citrina might compare to changing "Gone with the Wind" to "Frankly".

    Plant names to the "common" user (millions of people) are a road map to their passions. Maybe a system needs to be developed that maintains traditional names out of respect to history and it's participants. I rather like the sound of Sobralia citrina as I'm sure did the person who named it that.
     
  10. Nov 23, 2006 #30

    Braem

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    I am afraid you are mistaken. Changing Sobralia citrina to Cattleya citrina is saying: "Hey, this book is listed as The Da vinci Code, but actually, it is Gone with the Wind.".

    And most taxonomist don't choose a name because it "sounds good". And surely not in the "old times" ... Just look at some of Reichenbach's names.
    And I like "Sobralia citrina" too. Maybe there should be "a convention" that the first given name (in this case Sobralia citrina) must be maintained as a bracket name. By the way, the originally given name is called the "basionym"

    For example Paphiopedilum venustum [Cypripedium venustum].and Psychopsis versteegianum [Oncidium versteegianum]

    That would solve that problem.

    Guido
     
  11. Nov 23, 2006 #31

    gonewild

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    I don't think so. Gone with the Wind." and The Da vinci Code, have completely different content and are in no way similar. Sobralia citrina and Cattleya citrina have the same content and are in fact the same thing. Now, you would be correct if what was written in the description of Sobralia citrina in fact described a completely different plant. But only the name has changed not the content.

    Now there is a rule we could change.... All new plant names must sound good. Who wants a boy named Sue?

    That is a good idea. But don't expect plant labels to contain all the data. It can be the rule for scientific writings. Then when a horticulturist looks up something they would have half a chance of knowing what they were looking at. A search for Sobralia citrina would yield results of Cattelya citrina as well.

    It might! The whole name change problem is much like when a child's mother remarries, do they change their "basionym" or keep the "basionym". Many choose to use both, old and new.(their scientific label). But their signature might have only one.(their plant label).
     
  12. Nov 23, 2006 #32

    Braem

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    Lance,

    and who decides what sounds good?

    Guido
     
  13. Nov 23, 2006 #33

    likespaphs

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    yeh! who decides? as a small grower, that'd be just another regulation that'll cut into the bottom line. why can't the consumer do her/his homework and figure this stuff out?
    then again, if this just for scientific stuff, that's cool...
     
  14. Nov 24, 2006 #34
    I don't want to seem like a prat, but I bite easily, so....

    Dr Braem,

    You like your analogies, so let me conjure one for you...

    There are guys that are paid to shovel the garbage off the streets. They are experts in shovelling garbage!

    But they still have someone above organising and managing their daily chores... why? Because sometimes these guys who shovel are so deep in garbage, their focus is on shovelling!

    Also, there is a system in place where if I see rubbish on the street, I can call up the local government and report it, and they will dispatch the shovellers to the problem.


    So you see, even none 'experts' have a role to play. They may not shovel, but in putting forth what they see and experience, they assist in making the environment better!


    sounds more like a means to an end. MONEY!


    oh, my problem with taxonomy is not because I don't understand it. My problem is the way people carry on without regards to who or what they affect!

    I thought the idea of this sub-forum is to get ideas on how we may be able to improve the current system, well, I thought that maybe the notion of a 'Super Genus' might help. As DrOrchid pointed out, I am not alone in my thought, and I'm sure Julian Shaw would have explained the idea of the "Super Genus" much better.

    So, I will defer commenting on any rubbish I see, and let the shovellers do their shovelling.
     
  15. Nov 25, 2006 #35

    Braem

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    Now,

    if you would explain to us what exactly you want to achieve with that "Supergenus" it might help.

    Guido
     
  16. Nov 25, 2006 #36
    A stable species name.

    One that doesn't change everytime the relationship between species plants is thought to have been clarified.
     
  17. Nov 25, 2006 #37
    In theory, possibly a nice idea, but realistically things change. Science will constantly evolve new technicques and methods and understandings. It's the nature of research. It shouldn't be hindered but instead, encouraged. A static, unchanging idea implies that we have learned all there is to know about a particular subject. This is never true and there are always new things to learn about something, no matter how exhaustive the current body of work may be.

    The main problem is how these changes apply to and affect the way the general public go about using this idea. To say that a supergenus should be created and all further taxonomic progress be ignored by all except a few taxonomist only hinders progress. What's the point of doing any research if it's not going to be applied?

    Is there a solution that will satisfy both populations? I don't know?

    Lien
     
  18. Nov 25, 2006 #38

    Braem

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    Yes, but we already have that. Whether you put a number of genera in a subtribe or a supergenus makes no difference. Again, you would be adding only one level more.

    You have subfamily Cypripedioidea
    in there you have Tribe Selenipedieae
    in there you have Subtribe Selenipediinae
    in there you have genus Selenipedium

    Even if you would habe 7 genera in the subtribe, what help would it be to put in "Supergenus" ?

    and what is next. Three months later you decide that the supergenus won't do and you add a supersuper genus?

    And by the way, all the entities above are well defined. However, it required to read and apply their definitions.

    Guido



     
  19. Nov 26, 2006 #39
    Thanks Lien,

    What I was babbling on about was never meant to stifle research or science. I guess I was just hoping that a pot will always be called a pot and I want the research that goes into that pot to occur behind the scene (beyond the name). After all, one day, pots might be deemed carcinogenic... and I may want to stop using it.

    Guess I'll have to get used to it being one day called Marij.. I meant 'containers'. :poke:


    yes, you're right, it would certainly mean that when i conjure up a new order, it would at least not be bogged down in semantics. I should have also thought about giving the new levels new names... and definitions.

    If something is broken, why keep using it? Doesn't that cause the problem to get worse? Why not fix it? While we're starting all over again with hybrids, why not start all over again with naming species... (oh I know... i'm just feeding the flame)
     
  20. Nov 26, 2006 #40

    Braem

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    1) Some of the pots ARE carcinogenic. (If you burn the plastic pots, you get highly carcinogenic fumes).
    2) Much more dangerous are the insecticides that some people use.
    3) no, you are not feeding the flames. Taxonomy is not broken. It is misunderstood by most, and misused by a zillion of the "pseudotaxonomists" out there. The only problem there is, is that most of you people don't read books.
    Of course some of the "rules" of taxonomy are "broken". And that is what I wanted to attend to, before being attacked.

    Guido

     

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