[tdwg-content] Name is species concept thinking

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Jun 10 22:00:36 CEST 2010

Keep in mind that I recognize that my comments are only my own
perspective/options.  I guess a key question that I'd like to get feedback
from others on is whether "Parent Taxon" and "circumscribed organisms" are
*both* intrinsic properties of "taxon concept", or if "taxon concept" is
effectively equivalent to "circumscription", relegating "parent taxon" as a
property of Classification, separate from "Taxon Concept".



	From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org
[mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
	Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2010 9:55 AM
	To: 'Peter DeVries'; tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org
	Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] Name is species concept thinking
	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.
	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

		Aedes triseriatus


		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 
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