Content Author Object Flagger Flag Created Reason Resolved by Resolution
ferns (Class Polypodiopsida) bouteloua Sat, 25 Aug 2018 13:29:50 +0000

see iNat policy per August 20, 2018

Not Resolved

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Do you think there's buy in for PPG to at least lock things down to genera? https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jse.12229
Kew recommend not using POWO (http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/?) for ferns for now (they plan to finish ferns by 2020) and recommended using the 2016 PPG paper (which only goes to genus)

Thoughts
@choess
@leonperrie
@monifern
@erwin_pteridophilos

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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I like PPG for what families are recognised, but I feel they recognised too many genera, splitting what were already monophyletic groups into even smaller monophyletic groups (arguably contrary to taxonomic stability).
The families were voted on, while the genera weren't, so while I don't like the outcomes for some genera, I'm unclear what the broader feeling is.

As an example, I'm not keen on splitting Blechnum into numerous genera, and it appears the Australian Plant Census will go the same way.

Posted by leonperrie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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leonperrie - what's an alternative proposal for coming up with a global list of all fern families we can reference?

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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PPG is as good as it gets, as far as I know. But it will differ from some regional authorities, and that is going to be unsettling to some. Because it was authoritative rather than consensus driven at the genus level, I for one won't stand behind it completely.

Instead, as I mentioned in a comment on the initial post, I think it would be very useful if iNaturalist regional communities could choose a scientific name that differed from the 'globally sanctioned' name (whether this be from POWO or wherever). That would allow iNaturalist to have a single underpinning taxonomic system, but also allow regional communities to diverge from it when they had a good reason to (e.g., Flora of North America, Australian Plant Census). This already happens with common names, so how about doing it also for scientific names?

Posted by leonperrie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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hi leon, there's lots of threads on the google group for discussing functionality enhancements. All I'll say here is that doing what you suggest would be too complicated for us to consider for at least the next few years given our team size, budget, and other commitments. Lets condition this conversation on iNat's current requirements for a single shared global taxonomy. My proposal would be to use PPG 2016 to genus (aside from case-by-case deviations). Do you have an alternate suggestion for how to achieve a working single shared genus level taxonomy for ferns?

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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No, I have no alternative suggestion for achieving a single taxonomy that isn't also going to suffer from the exact same problems as following PPG - regional groups are always going to be disenfranchised by having "someone else's" taxonomy imposed on them, whether that be by a global authority like POWO (which is really just an aggregator, not an authority) or another regional group that is privileged for whatever reason. That disenfranchisement will be greater when there is a "good buy-in" for locals with the regional authority (as seems to be the case with Flora of North America).

I don't know whether the benefits of imposing a unitary scheme (which is what it will be, because most genera, and nearly all families, go across regional boundaries) outweighs the risk of such disenfranchisement. I suspect not, but you can always give it a go and see who actually cares.

Posted by leonperrie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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Thanks for the thoughtful response leon. I agree with you that compromising on a single shared global taxonomy won't give everyone everything they want. If person 1 wants clade A and person 2 wants clade B than by someone will be disappointed by the choice of clade A or clade B. Compromising may come across as having "someone else's taxonomy imposed on them". And as you say, giving everyone everything they want would require abandoning ambitions to have globally distributed platforms like iNaturalist or perhaps a focus on designing, fundraising for, and building some hypothetical system that could offer iNat-like functionality while simultaneously mapping across each user's customized taxonomy.

But if we're sticking with the imperfect constraint of a single shared global taxonomy, I disagree that compromising on this taxonomy has to be top down. What we're proposing is to use PPG as a starting place and and for the community to propose and maintain 'deviations' from PPG. Yes, the deviations have to apply to the single shared global taxonomy, but they don't need to come from the top down, they can come from the bottom up.

Since PPG is in PDF (rather than spreadsheet) form, I've begun the task of transcribing it into a table here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gLpdraC8ANTqUms4kyJvkF9Pg83xD7N94TSpg5nxc1Y/edit?usp=sharing
If folks can help fill in the missing genera from the paper here https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jse.12229 that would be hugely helpful

With PPG as a starting place, the next step will be to look at all names in iNat that don't match those genera and figure out whats going on. If someone feels strongly about a genera thats not in PPG, that would be a good time to propose it as a deviation from PPG.

Thoughts?

Posted by loarie about 2 years ago (Flag)
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this was a while ago, but I and at least one other anonymous user added the genera to that Google spreadsheet

Posted by bouteloua over 1 year ago (Flag)
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If our ultimate intent is to use POWO as the taxonomic anchor for ferns, once it is updated in maybe a year or two, I'm thinking that making genus-level (or higher) changes in iNat now based on PPG could result in some taxonomic whiplash once POWO is caught up, and maybe we should just bide our time.

An exception might be where there is strong enough consensus about a particular generic treatment that it would be the intent to stick with it no matter what POWO ultimately ends up adopting -- a "preemptive potential deviation", so to speak.

Posted by jdmore over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I'm sure the lead author of PPG1 would be willing to provide an up to date spread sheet of the fern classification. Let me know if that would be useful and I can contact him. Jason

Posted by jasonrgrant over 1 year ago (Flag)
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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gLpdraC8ANTqUms4kyJvkF9Pg83xD7N94TSpg5nxc1Y/edit#gid=0 is looking mostly good but it has 335 rows and https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jse.12229 says "We formally recognize 337 pteridophyte genera" - I wonder if we're missing two genera. If anyone wants to audit the spreadsheet against the paper that would be helpful. Or jason's approach of emailing the authors might be easier

Posted by loarie over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I found 2 missing genera (Aenigmopteris, Dryopolystichum) and now the counts match https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gLpdraC8ANTqUms4kyJvkF9Pg83xD7N94TSpg5nxc1Y/edit#gid=0
@choess - is the plan to go with PPG for Class -> Genera for Ferns?

Posted by loarie over 1 year ago (Flag)
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I feel rather strange pronouncing on it when there are so many professional pteridologists on this platform, but given the choice between the POWO/GLOVAP arrangement and PPG I, I think the latter is by far preferable, so yes. In general, PPG tends to err on the side of splitting, as per Leon's comments above, and POWO on the slide of lumping, but I think the former is easier to fix when changing our classifications in the future (more observation IDs can be automatically rather than manually assigned).

(BTW, those last 2 genera will need to be deviations; Aenigmopteris is nested in Tectaria and Dryopolystichum belongs to Lomariopsidaceae.)

Posted by choess over 1 year ago (Flag)
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Scott, as you will see in your email inbox, I have written to Eric Schuettpelz, lead author of our PPGI treatment. Hopefully he will be able to get back to us quickly on this so you can move forward.

Posted by jasonrgrant over 1 year ago (Flag)
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bringing https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/39311321 to the attention of this thread. Reminder - iNat is currently following POWO for ferns but @choess has made a lot of deviations.

As not a fern-person, my personal preference is to not deviate from POWO since making/maintaining these deviations is a ton of work.

But in my opinion they are worth it if there's a strong consensus among the iNat fern-people. If this is not the case (e.g. if fern-people would prefer not to deviate from POWO) please chime in here or on the many relevant flags associated with particular deviations.

Posted by loarie 7 months ago (Flag)
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I suggest that deviations from POWO should be on a case by case basis, and that a mere lumping/splitting difference is insufficient reason for a deviation. Deviations should be reserved for cases in which POWO is based on an obvious error or simply hasn't caught up with new literature yet, in which case PPG probably hasn't either, but we ought to be able to put in new species from the primary reference without having to wait for some aggregator or other (i.e. POWO of PPG) to take the lead.

Posted by stephen_thorpe 7 months ago (Flag)

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