Nomenclature = the application or assignment of names. A major component of plant taxonomy. Why?
Names provide a cultural or symbolic link to reality and formal scientific names for flowering plants allow a connection to biological reality as expressed by complex systems of classification, i.e., scientific names provide a stable 'handle' and are also rich in information content.
The 220,000 species of Magnoliophyta are distributed world-wide.
Plant Science is active on a world-wide basis - Chinese physiologists,
German ecologists, American Agronomists, British Horticulturists are all
working with plant material that can be identified, using the products
of plant systematics, to a given species or infraspecific element.
If scientific work is to be repeatable and communicated on a global basis,
each species has to be associated with a symbol (species epithet) that
is unique, standardized and, via the Genus name, intercalated into the
full, content-rich system of botanical classification.
1) applying different names to the same plant (independent, uncoordinated naming - analogy with naming bolt 'species' in the first lab)
2) applying the same name to different
3) coping with flux resulting from
differences in taxonomic opinion (lumping vs. splitting)
1) Carolus Linnaeus (overview from UC Berkeley) - initiated a standardized system in the mid-1700s and published SPECIES PLANTARUM (1753) which standardized the binomial as a replacement for descriptive names or polynomials:
before Linnaeus: Eupatorium cannabinum, foliis in caule ad genicula ternis, floribus parvis, umbellatim in summis caulibus dispositis, Marilandicum
after Linnaeus: Eupatorium purpureum
2) Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (French - photo from U. Maryland) made first attempt at an international code of nomenclature (early 1800s)
3) two codes existed in the late 1800s and early 1900s - American vs. European. Aspects of these were argued during international botanical congresses of 1892 and 1910.
4) 1930 - first International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN)
5) subsequent international botanical congresses (ca. every 4-6 years) hear proposals to modify the Code - the most recent congress was in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
6) each edition of the ICBN is published in English, French and German - the most recent (1994 - Tokyo Code) is available online and this will be replaced by a 1999 version soon
7) provisions of the ICBN are divided into Rules (firm or binding), set out in the Articles, and Recommendations (non-binding - suggestions)
1. "Botanical nomenclature is independent from zoological nomenclature"
2. The application of names of taxonomic groups is determined by means of nomenclatural types"
TYPE METHOD: Each species epithet is applied to a specific dried herbarium specimen - this represents the TYPE (HOLOTYPE = type designated by the authority, ISOTYPE = duplicate of the HOLOTYPE, LECTOTYPE = type specimen designated by a later worker. This specimen is the NOMENCLATURALTYPE - a legalistic device, has nothing to do with the biology of the taxon. A given species is designated as nomenclatural type of a genus, a given genus is designated as nomenclatural type for the family. All changes in nomenclature resulting in taxonomic decisions concerning changes in RANK or CIRCUMSCRIPTION require examination of the type specimen. These specimens are of special interest and, as a result, are often receive special treatment by herbarium curators. See type specimen listings at the Texas A&M Tracy Herbarium (select Type Registry), the University of Texas Plant Resources Center (scroll to 'Type Register'), The Oregon State University Herbarium, Harvard University, and the New York Botanical Garden.
Cannabis sativa L. 1753
C. indica Lam. (Jean Lamarck - 1744-1829) 1785
C. ruderalis Janischevsky 1924
EARLIEST name is retained - C. sativa L.
How far back do we go?
For vascular plants: Linnaeus' SPECIES PLANTARUM 1753 (MAY 1)
REQUIREMENTS OF THE CODE FOR VALID PUBLICATION:
1. designation of a name
2. description (native language) and diagnosis (latin)
3. designation of a type:
Vernonia cronquistii S. B. Jones, sp. nov. TYPE: Cronquist 9705 (Holotype NY!, Isotypes: GH!; MEX!. [INDEX HERBARIORUM]
"EFFECTIVE" PUBLICATION = how published
1. genus name - Singular, Latinized noun [or a word treated as a noun], always capitalized, often abbreviated [once written a single time], can be taken from any source - Marshalljohnstonia (information on genera - see Mabberley, D. J. 1997. The Plant-Book - copies in lab and Index Nominum Genericorum)
2. species epithet - can be derived from any source, often an adjective, descriptive (see Dictonary of Botanical Epithets), Latinized - (capitalization) - usually agrees in gender with the genus name
3. authority - full or abbreviated name = historical information. Who is the authority - see listings in Correll and Johnston, Manuel of the Vascular Plants of Texas, M. F. Fernald 1956. Manual of Botany or an online index from Harvard University. When and where was the name published? Indices are maintained as name references. These include the Gray Card Index (Harvard University) for New World taxa and also Index Kewensis (Royal Botanic Garden, Kew) - worldwide. Parenthetical authorities denote a change with retention of linkage to the individual (authority or author) responsible for the name:
CHANGE IN RANK - Smith does a study of the Vernonia cronquistii complex and discovers that plants assignable to V. cronquistii are closely related to V. alba - so: Vernonia alba L. ssp. cronquistii (S. B. Jones) Smith
CHANGE IN CIRCUMSCRIPTION White discovers that plants assignable to V. cronquistii are distinct from other Vernonia species, maybe with regard to chromosome number or gene sequences, and quite similar to species of Taraxacum - so - Taraxacum cronquistii (S. B. Jones) White
1. local or "common" names cannot be used on a world-wide basis because:
names per biological element across its range of distribution
two or more plants can have the same local name, depending on location
many species have no local name
local names are 'language restricted'
2. as opposed to names applied via the ICBN, local or
"common" names have no information content relative to the taxonomic system