Commercially driven taxonomy: the necessity of "knowing" species

Maxwell, Stephen J., and Rymer, Tasmin L. (2016) Commercially driven taxonomy: the necessity of "knowing" species. The Festivus, 48 (1). pp. 52-53.

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Abstract

[Extract] Taxonomic inflation, the raising of an organism to a different taxonomic state to exaggerate its importance, is a direct contributor to inflated estimates of endemism, often with a geopolitical bias (Issac et al., 2004; Harris & Froufe, 2005). Taxonomic inflation reflects the long standing issue in the classification of nature, as higher ranks are erected and the taxonomy of intraspecific ranks is relegated in favour of newly named species. There are currently three postulated causes for taxonomic inflation: (1) the discovery of new species where, taxonomic inflation is often a reflection of the "rediscovery" of new species buried within a polytypic nature of an organism by supposedly recognizing cryptic diversity (Tattersall, 2007; Dubois, 2008); (2) the changes in the systematic approach to the classification of organisms and the author's failure to clearly identify which one of the many different "species concepts" they utilized in elevating to species status organisms which were previously accepted as forms, varieties or subspecies (Tattersall, 2007; Dubois, 2008); and (3) a consequence of academia and the need for taxonomists to publish, as highlighted by inflated species recognition by authors and unwarranted descriptions that are not justified by the evidence for divergence (Dubois, 2008; Sundberg & Stand, 2009; Bebber et al., 2014). We argue for a fourth cause for taxonomic inflation. That is, the economic incentives to specimen dealers seeking to maximize marketability of organisms by elevating an organism to a different taxonomic state.

Item ID: 43902
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0738-9388
Keywords: economic incentive, species classification, taxonomic inflation, species concept, taxonomic nomenclature
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Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 22:22
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 90%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 10%
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