[tdwg-content] ITIS TSNID to uBio NamebankIDs mapping

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Jun 3 23:40:12 CEST 2011

Thanks for the clarification, Dave.

> Re "Scientific Name", as you hopefully see in the above document, the term
> in ITIS generally corresponds to what I see from the ICBN use (Art. 16-24)
> the ICZN use (Art. 4-5 in particular, as the "combination" formation,
> than the more atomized uses like "specific name" which is like "epithet").

Yes, agreed.

> There are of course other thing in ITIS with TSNs, like database
artifacts, that
> are labeled as such and retained but hidden from most users to avoid
> confusion and not strand any user that might already have the TSN.

Yes, I didn't even want to bring those up -- I was just talking about the
"legit" records.

> As to the relationship to taxon concept, if you squinted your eyes "just
> you could qualify as Rich did above and suggest that those TSNs that
> to represent names with usage=valid/accepted (and preferably those with
> some level of verification indicated, vs. the legacy data we're still
> with!)  "essentially represent a taxon concept", but I don't really think
that is
> appropriate at this point.... 

Fair enough.  

I guess my point was that if you filter down to just those tsn's deemed to
be valid/accepted, you end up with (ideally) a mosaic that covers the
biodiversity landscape.  That is, they ultimately are intended to represent
a "preferred view" of taxon concept circumscriptions that collectively cover
all within-scope biodiversity (allowing for the fact that it's not complete
yet, and the scope may change).  As such, those TSN's can be thought of as
"representing" a taxon concept (as per the assertion of the pool of ITIS
taxonomic experts).  

Of the remaining TSN's, some apply to subjective/heterotypic junior synonyms
that represent smaller taxon concept circumscriptions created by a splitter
(when the ITIS expert was more of a lumper). Others apply to
subjective/heterotypic junior synonyms that represent taxon concept
circumscriptions congruent with the corresponding valid/accepted
TSN-represented circumscription, in cases where a taxonomist established a
name for a clear-cut taxon that already had an earlier name (unbeknownst to
the later taxonomist). Others apply to the same specific epithet combined
with a different genus epithet (same species epithet, different genus name,
same or different taxon circumscription) -- that is, alternate combinations.
Others apply to alternate spellings of the same genus/species combination,
without known implications to concept circumscription relationship.  

So the point is, in cases where [usage]="valid"|"accepted", then TSN can (I
think) reasonably be taken (eyes squinted) as representative/proxy for a
taxon concept circumscription; but for the other TSNs, the implications for
taxon concepts are different, depending (in part) on the value of the
[unaccept_reason] field.

> actually the closest thing in ITIS to a "taxon
> concept" would be certain entries in the reference_links table (the
> intersection between the scientific names entries and the reference
> entries), 

These are what I/GNUB would call "Taxon Name Usage" instances.  And as you
stated for TSNs, while such "TNUs" may be thought of as a proxy for a taxon
concept, this only applies to a subset of all possible TNUs. Sort of like
TSNs :-)


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