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Re: New content on the IAS Web site

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: New content on the IAS Web site
  • From: Al Wootten <awootten@NRAO.EDU>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 15:46:09 -0500 (CDT)

Wilbert Hetterscheid writes:
 > You may want to correct the linkname Typhonium peduncleatum to Typhonium
 > pedunculatum. I know, those darn plant names......WHO the hell creates those
 > things without prior acceptance by plant enthusiasts....... ??????!!!!!!!
Taxonomy was the subject of an interesting article in Science Vol 291 No 5512
p2304 entitled "Linnaeus's Last Stand".  It reports a then-impending 
(30-31 March) Sympsoium in D. C. on a new system for classification which
the call 'PhyloCode'.  Under this proposal, "which seeks to reflect
phylogenetic relationships, genus names could be lost, species names
shortened, hyphenated with former genus descriptor, or given a numeric
designation.  The critics are not happy."  The article is extensive and
interesting (though I can imagine this proposal's acceptance in aroid-l
would be scant).  The article concludes with the note that over the
next several years, we will probably find researchers naming organisms with
both approaches.  Some argue for a complete break with traditional names to
avoid confusion.

I haven't seen a followup article.  There was an interesting article on
seed longevity on p. 1884 of the same volume, two weeks earlier issue.
The focus is on the Beal experiment at MSU, in which seeds buried in a
bottle in 1879 are periocially unearthed for germination tests.  For some
species (Verbascum blattaria), the seeds continue to sprout and probably will
until the bottles run out in 2100 (by which time no one may recall what
Verbascum blattaria once meant).  The article reports the oldest reported
viable seed as a 1450 year old sacred lotus seed.

Clear skies,
Al









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