Nomenclature codes


Nomenclature codes

Nomenclature codes or codes of nomenclature are the various rulebooks that govern biological taxonomic nomenclature, each in their own broad field of organisms. To an end-user who only deals with names of species, with some awareness that species are assignable to families, it may not be noticeable that there is more than one code, but beyond this basic level these are rather different in the way they work.

The successful introduction of two-part names for species by Linnaeus was the start for an ever-expanding system of nomenclature. With all naturalists worldwide adopting this approach to thinking up names there arose several schools of thought about the details. It became ever more apparent that a detailed body of rules was necessary to govern scientific names. From the mid-nineteenth century onwards there were several initiatives to arrive at worldwide-accepted sets of rules. In the course of time these became the present nomenclature codes governing the naming of:

Contents

Differences between codes

Starting point

The starting point, that is the time from which these codes are in effect (usually retroactively), varies from group to group, and sometimes from rank to rank. In botany the starting point will often be 1753, in zoology 1758. On the other hand bacteriology started anew, making a clean sweep in 1980, although maintaining the original authors and dates of publication.

Workings

There are also differences in the way codes work. For example, the ICN (the plant code) forbids tautonyms, while the ICZN, (the animal code) allows them.

Terminology

These codes differ in terminology, and there is a long-term project to "harmonize" this. For instance, the ICN uses "valid" in "valid publication of a name" (= the act of publishing a formal name), with "establishing a name" as the ICZN equivalent. The ICZN uses "valid" in "valid name" (= "correct name"), with "correct name" as the ICN equivalent. Harmonization is making very limited progress.

Types

There are differences in respect of what kinds of types are used. The bacteriological code prefers living type cultures, but allows other kinds. There has been ongoing debate regarding which kind of type is more useful in a case like cyanobacteria.[1]

Other codes

A more radical approach was to replace all existing codes with a new BioCode, basically a synthesis of the existing Codes.[2][3] The originally planned implementation date for the BioCode draft was January 1, 2000, but agreement was not reached. However, a 2004 paper concerning the cyanobacteria does advocate a future adoption of a BioCode and interim steps consisting of reducing the differences between the codes.[1]

A revised Biocode that, instead of replacing the existing codes, would provide a unified context for them, was proposed in 2011,[4][5] but the International Botanical Congress of that year declined to consider the proposal.

Another code in development is the PhyloCode, which would regulate phylogenetic nomenclature rather than Linnaean nomenclature (that is, it requires phylogenetic definitions for every name, and does not contain mandatory ranks). Implementation was tentatively scheduled for sometime before 2010.

Common names

Many plants and animals also have common and familiar names in the countries where they occur. In the case of plants, and even animals, the same common name is often applied to several different organisms within one country: a periwinkle can be a flowering plant or one of several kinds of intertidal snail. In the case of some animals especially birds, there is much greater uniformity in the use of common names, which generally refer to only a single species (although they are generally inclusive of subspecies).

In some case the scientific genus name has become the common name, for example, Hydra and Daphnia. The use of English common names is governed by the normal rules of grammar in English, and they are pluralised according to the same rules. Even though common names may appear to have roots in other languages, especially Latin or Greek, plurals of common names do not follow the grammatical rules of those languages. For example it is correct to refer to many hydras or many octopuses. However, when using the scientific binomial name or any other rank of the taxonomy, plurals are ordinarily not used at all.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Ahoren Oren (2004). "A proposal for further integration of the cyanobacteria under the Bacteriological Code". Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 54: 1895–1902. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.03008-0. PMID 15388760. 
  2. ^ "Draft BioCode". 1997. http://www.bgbm.org/IAPT/biocode/default.htm. 
  3. ^ John McNeill (1996-11-04). "The BioCode: Integrated biological Nomenclature for the 21st Century?". Proceedings of a Mini-Symposium on Biological Nomenclature in the 21st Century. 
  4. ^ [1] Greuter, W.; Garrity, G.; Hawksworth, D.L.; Jahn, R.; Kirk, P.M.; Knapp, S.; McNeill, J.; Michel, E.; Patterson, D.J.; Pyle, R.; Tindall, B.J. (2011). Draft BioCode (2011): Principles and rules regulating the naming of organisms. Taxon. 60: 201-212.
  5. ^ [2] and [3] Hawksworth, D.L. (2011). Introducing the Draft BioCode (2011). Taxon. 60(1): 199–200.

External links


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