[tdwg-content] What is an Occurrence? [what about the "token"]

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun Oct 17 16:40:48 CEST 2010

> Various TDWG'ers continue to argue that the original description 
> and subsequent revisions were really important in determining 
> what these individuals actually meant when they assigned a name 
> to a specimen, and that this is how we should model it in 
> excruciating detail.

Most of the "TDWG'ers" that I know are FULLY aware that many "modern" taxon
concepts are not congruent to the concepts as originally cirumscribed when a
Code-compliant name was first established.  Obviously, the more recent the
original description, the more congruent the original taxon concept will be
to a "modern" concept.

The reason why it's important to be cognizant of original descriptions of
names is to ensrue that when one applies a taxon name to a modern concept,
the modern concept includes within its circumscription the type specimen for
the name that is used.  The original description is relevant primarily for
nomenclatural purposes, and to ensure that a modern taxon concept does not
exclude the type specimen for the name being applied to the modern concept.

Subsequent revisions *are* important to modern concepts, because those are
the places where real taxon concept definitions (e.g., the sort that are
used when people construct keys) are documented.

> For example, how many of the species observed in the recent 
> BioBlitz were identified by referring to the original 
> species description or subsequent revisions?

Probably none.  More likely they were identified to field guides, and the
field guides more than likely base their concept boundaries (=implied
synonimies) on a (relatively) recent taxonomic work.


More information about the tdwg-content mailing list