[tdwg-content] Name is species concept thinking

Peter DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Thu Jun 10 22:09:06 CEST 2010

Hi Richard

You are agreeing with me.

My point is that the DarwinCore should include an identifier that resolves
to a site that provides some information about how that concept is defined.

1) First by mapping the concept to the various names and related identifiers
2) By providing additional information that helps one determine if a
specimen is a close match to that species concept.

The field nameAccordingTo does not provide this kind of information.

- Pete

On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 2:55 PM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>wrote:

>  I don't think that's right.  Names are pointers to species concepts, but
> are not concepts themselves.  A label for a species concept would look like
> "Aus bus sensu Author/Citation" or "Aus bus sec. Author/Citation".  Also, of
> course, the name is not, in itself, a unique identifier (in something like
> 10% of cases -- which in my mind is non-trivial).
> Also, I disagree with the idea that Aedes triseriatus and Ochlerotatus
> triseriatus necessarily refer to different taxon concepts.  To me, the
> "concept" is the circumscribed set of organisms.  If I curcumscribe a set of
> organisms that I label with "Aedes triseriatus", and then later decide that
> this set of organisms is best classified in the genus Ocherotatus, then
> naming it as such does not change the circumscribed set of organisms.  It
> certainly may have implications on the concepts for the genera "Aedes" and
> "Ochlerotatus", but in my mind, it has no effect on the implied
> circumscription (=Concept, sensu me) of what is indicated by the species
> epithet "triseriatus".
> I do not think it makes sense to include hierarchical clasification as part
> of the terminal taxon "concept".  Taxa at each hierarchical rank are, in my
> mind, defined by their contents; not their higher classification.
> The way I visualize it, there is a many:many relationship between names and
> concepts (I *think* this applies no matter what you mean by "name", and no
> matter what you mean by "concept").  The same circumscription of organisms
> can be labelled by many different names, and the same name may apply to many
> different circumscriptions of organisms (not just homonyms/homographs, but
> also lumper/splitter issues).
> Therefore, I don't think it is appropriate to try to equate names:concepts
> as 1:1, or even many:1.
> Aloha,
> Rich
> P.S. I certainly think that "Aedes triseriatus" and "Ochlerotatus
> triseriatus" are different "things", just not (necessarily) different taxon
> concepts.  Actually, from an informatics perspective, I think that treating
> these different combinations as unique/identified objects doesn't gain us
> much.  I think it's *MUCH* more robust to parse out the different individual
> usages of each combination as the identified objects, then derive the unique
> combinations/spellings/etc. from those usages.  If the notion of indexing
> usages seems too intimidating, then start with the easy ones -- like the
> original useages of each of the name elements ("Aedes", "Ochlerotatus", and
> "triseriatus"), and the key treatments (e.g., whoever first combined
> "triseriatus" with the genus "Ochlerotatus", and/or whoever robustly defined
> alternate concepts for each).
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org [mailto:
> tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] *On Behalf Of *Peter DeVries
> *Sent:* Thursday, June 10, 2010 9:38 AM
> *To:* tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org
> *Subject:* [tdwg-content] Name is species concept thinking
> I was looking through the latest DarwinCore and comments related to the
> TaxonConceptID.
> Since the name serves as both a unique identifier and a phylogenetic
> hypothesis, you are effectively saying that observations labeled
> *Aedes triseriatus*
> and
> *Ochlerotatus triseriatus*
> Are separate species concepts, and should therefore be treated as separate
> things.
> i.e. The name is the concept.
> Also since there are several name variants for each "species", how do you
> distinguish which of these nameID's are the same species and which are
> different?
> - Pete
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Pete DeVries
> Department of Entomology
> University of Wisconsin - Madison
> 445 Russell Laboratories
> 1630 Linden Drive
> Madison, WI 53706
> GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
> About the GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
> ------------------------------------------------------------

Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
About the GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
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