[tdwg-content] Taxon Concept dilemma

Gregor Hagedorn g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com
Mon Jul 5 15:54:30 CEST 2010

> Higher taxonomy
> Is it generally agreed that higher taxonomy does not, in itself,
> impact the concept (circumscription) and therefore different
> classifications of a taxon are not criteria for a concept identifier
> change?

Yes and no, and I think this is the trouble with determining whether
the circumscription was changed or not (your point 2 or 3).

In many cases, transferring a species into a new genus does implicitly
change the description, because a set of previously unrecorded or
misinterpreted characters has been studied and the genus description
is now implicitly correct for these transferred species.

It may be that the diagnostic characters are still the same, it may be
that previous option to misapply a name (previously undetected) now no
longer apply.

For example, conidiogenesis in imperfect fungi is now routinely
observed, and transferring a species into a genus with defined
conidiogenesis in the last 50 years generally meant that the range of
potential identification (correct or misapplied) was drastically
changed. This occurs on all higher levels, not only but including

I have therefore doubts whether the distinction between 2 and 3 should
be made a priori; a system where a name change requires a new ID and
where the reasoning is based on these IDs could be more flexible to


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