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Acacia, the 2011 Nomenclature Section in Melbourne, and beyond

Authors: Moore, Gerry1; Smith, Gideon F.; Figueiredo, Estrela2; Demissew, Sebsebe3; Lewis, Gwilym4; Schrire, Brian4; Rico, Lourdes4; van Wyk, Abraham E.2

Source: Taxon, Volume 59, Number 4, August 2010 , pp. 1188-1195(8)

Publisher: International Association for Plant Taxonomy

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This paper briefly reports on the developments surrounding the Acacia name conservation controversy since the Nomenclature Section meeting at the Seventeenth International Botanical Congress at Vienna in 2005. Actions taken at Vienna led to the listing of Acacia Mill. with a conserved type in Appendix III (p. 286) of the current printed version of the International code of botanical nomenclature. While decisions taken at Nomenclature Sections generally tend to resolve nomenclatural disputes, the actions taken in Vienna with regard to Acacia—i.e., treating the proposal to conserve the name Acacia with a conserved type as approved even though the majority of the votes cast were opposed to the proposalhas only resulted in increased controversy. Today, the Acacia listing in the Code continues to be met with considerable resistance from the global plant taxonomic community and beyond. We believe the “minority rule” approach used in Vienna was contrary to the procedural rules established in Vienna. As a result, an objection to the acceptance of the Vienna Code as currently printed with the Acacia listing will be raised at the Nomenclature Section meeting during the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress in Melbourne in 2011. A procedure is outlined for handling this objection that we hope will allow the botanical community to finally resolve this matter.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11225, U.S.A.;, Email: 2: H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt Herbarium, Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002 South Africa 3: The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 3434, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 4: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, U.K.

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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