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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 18(1)

Majority rules, when systematists disagree

Timothy J. Entwisle A B, Peter H. Weston A

A Botanic Gardens Trust, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: tim.entwisle@rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
 
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Abstract

The creation of Australia’s Virtual Herbarium forced the Australian plant systematics community to find a mechanism for deciding between alternative taxonomies. Following a workshop on the Orchidaceae and the publication of some simple draft guidelines, a set of ‘rules of thumb’ are presented here that we believe represent the view of most practising systematists. Not everyone will agree, and we have provided alternative views where possible. We include the need for monophyletic taxa, minimising taxonomic change, understanding that some taxa have strong ‘interest groups’, making it clear that ‘preferred name’ does not necessarily imply ‘best name’ on all criteria, avoiding epithets used in possible congeners, and the concept of ‘majority rules’ when states and territories have differing views.

   
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