Free Content The Acacia controversy resulting from minority rule at the Vienna Nomenclature Section: Much more than arcane arguments and complex technicalities

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Abstract:

The arguments towards resolving the Acacia nomenclatural controversy put forth by Thiele & al. (2011) are reviewed and rebutted. We argue that a truly pragmatic and, moreover, defensible and equitable alternative to accepting the retypification of Acacia Mill. with a conserved type would be to have the 2006 International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, excluding this retypification, serve as the basis for discussions at the Nomenclature Section of the Melbourne International Botanical Congress in 2011. We, and a large component of the international taxonomic community, and beyond, remain convinced that the minority rule voting procedure used at Vienna on Acacia was inappropriate, resulting in animosity that will without any doubt linger until this situation is rectified. Such a minority rule procedure has never in the history of Nomenclature Sections been implemented before. Exclusion of the Acacia retypification can be achieved through a democratic process by objecting to its inclusion when the printed (2006) Code comes up for adoption at the start of the Nomenclature Section. This is perfectly within the established process that has been used in past Section meetings. The integrity of the Code will suffer permanent damage if the retypification of Acacia Mill. with a conserved type is not removed from the ICBN, especially as it ended up there through a minority decision.

Keywords: ACACIA MILL; INTERNATIONAL BOTANICAL CONGRESS; INTERNATIONAL CODE OF BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE; MELBOURNE; NOMENCLATURE SECTION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11225, U.S.A.;, Email: gerry.moore@gnb.usda.gov 2: Office of the Chief Director: Biosystematics Research and Biodiversity Collections, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X101, Pretoria 0001 South Africa; Acocks Chair, H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt Herbarium, Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002 South Africa; Centre for Functional Ecology, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Universidade de Coimbra, 3001-455 Coimbra, Portugal 3: Department of Botany, P.O. Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, 6031 South Africa; Centre for Functional Ecology, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Universidade de Coimbra, 3001-455 Coimbra, Portugal 4: The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 3434, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 5: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, U.K. 6: H.G.W.J. Schweickerdt Herbarium, Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002 South Africa 7: L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Department of Plant Biology, 228 Plant Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A. 8: Instituto Argentino de las Zonas Aridas (IADIZA), C.C: 507 (5500) Mendoza, Argentina 9: Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-367, 04510 México, D.F.

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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