TDWG-SDD XML proposals of Kevin Thiele

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Tue Nov 7 08:16:11 CET 2000

Leszeck wrote:
>What is referred to as "species" value="alfari"/ is actually the specific
>epithet. The "species" value in this instance would actually be "Azteca
>alfari" You're probably familiar with this protocol of referring to the
>scientific name of an organism which implies citing the genus name & the
>specific epithet which together comprise the species names - as per the
>Linnean system of binomial nomenclature. Should I have the 'wrong end of the
>stick' of the discourse at this stage then please advise me.

Isn't this merely a matter of how we look at things and the insoluble
legacy of the Linnean system?

Conceptually one of way of dealing dealing with things is to consider we
are dealing with taxa, <taxon>, and that each taxon has a <name/>, <rank/>
and a context or parentage <parent/> which happens to be another <taxon> at
a higher <rank>.

Computers do not have any trouble with such a model and can build wonderful
and tidy tree-like hierarchies.

However, to make the thing humanly intelligible for the purposes of
communication, Names below the genus have to be specified with their
context because the same name are allowed in different genera.

Conceptually the species can be thought of as the thing - the taxon at the
rank of species.  it handle if the combination of its name and its context:
genus name plus species epithet, as you describe.

We could always use an name in connection and sometimes do, e.g.
Blechnaceae: Woodwardia, or Woodwardia (Blechnaceae), but mostly above the
level of genus we do not bother, maybe because people can remember where a
smaller number of things fit.

But there are undoubtedly equally valid ways of modelling species and their


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