at Mon Feb 12 17:53:39 2007 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by aspidoscelis ]
"Under the ICZN, that also applies for new names. However the ICZN is about rules of nomenclature, and does not seek to govern taxonomic judgement. New combinations arise logically as a result of taxonomic judgement (in this case, accepting the arguments of both Burbrink and Utiger et al. logically leads to the combination Pantherophis alleghaniensis), and thus fall outside the principal remit of the ICZN. The first use of a new combination in a Code-compliant publication will be of interest to the compilers of synonymies, but that's as far as it goes."
Interesting. I guess I ought to go read more of the ICZN code someday...
"I am actually somewhat surprised that the ICBN handles that differently - surely none of the Codes aims to dictate scientific judgement?"
The goal seems only to be to ensure that all names are clearly tracable and published formally & explicitly along with some sort of justification. You can excersize whatever taxonomic judgment you like, so long as you publish it.
As a random example, here's a paper associated with a genus I'm working with, Boechera:
The paper in this case gives a history of the relevant generic names, explains the rationale for moving most former Arabis of North America into Boechera, and then provides new combinations for these species along with synonymy, citation of types, notes on the more confusing names, etc. Seems like without this kind of system, things could easily get quite confusing if you're dealing with large numbers of taxa.
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