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Free Content The controversy over the retypification of Acacia Mill. with an Australian type: A pragmatic view

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Abstract:

The conservation of Acacia with an Australian type has been perhaps the most controversial issue to have been dealt with under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature in many years. Before, during and since the vote on the matter at the Seventeenth International Botanical Congress in Vienna, strong opinions have been expressed in print, on the web and in the popular media. Opponents of the Vienna decision are currently focusing on details of the process by which the vote was conducted, rather than on the merits or otherwise of the original proposal. They have signalled an intention to challenge and to try to overturn the Vienna decision at the Melbourne Congress. We are a group of taxonomists, from a range of backgrounds and with a range of opinions on the original proposal, who believe that the Vienna process was fundamentally sound, and that continuance of this argument in its current form is damaging to the international nomenclatural consensus. We provide this paper as, we hope, an objective, non-partisan summary of the issue and conclude with the recommendation that the international taxonomic community should accept the retypification of Acacia and move on.

Keywords: ACACIA; BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE; CONSERVATION OF NAMES; INTERNATIONAL BOTANICAL CONGRESS; INTERNATIONAL CODE OF BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Western Australian Herbarium, Locked Bag 104, Bentley DC, Western Australia 6983, Australia;, Email: kevin.thiele@dec.wa.gov.au 2: US National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. 20560, U.S.A. 3: The Botanical Gardens, University of Tokyo, 3-7-1 Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0001, Japan 4: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Département de Systématique & Evolution, Herbier des Plantes Vasculaires, UMS/0602 – Case Postale 39, Paris 5: Herbarium, Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan 6: Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, Missouri 63166-0299, U.S.A. 7: Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO), Av. Liga Periférico-Insurgentes Sur 4903 Delegación Tlalpan 14010 México, Distrito Federal 8: Botanical Garden and Museum, The Natural History Museum of Denmark, Sølvgade 83, opg. S., 1307 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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