Taxonomy based on science is necessary for global conservation

Scott A. Thomson, Richard L. Pyle, Shane T. Ahyong, Miguel Alonso-Zarazaga, Joe Ammirati, Juan Francisco Araya, John S. Ascher, Tracy Lynn Audisio, Valter M. Azevedo-Santos, Nicolas Bailly, William J. Baker, Michael Balke, Maxwell V.L. Barclay, Russell L. Barrett, Ricardo C. Benine, James R.M. Bickerstaff, Patrice Bouchard, Roger Bour, Thierry Bourgoin, Christopher B. BoykoAbraham S.H. Breure, Denis J. Brothers, James W. Byng, David Campbell, Luis M.P. Ceríaco, István Cernák, Pierfilippo Cerretti, Chih Han Chang, Soowon Cho, Joshua M. Copus, Mark J. Costello, Andras Cseh, Csaba Csuzdi, Alastair Culham, Guillermo D’Elía, Cédric d’Udekem d’Acoz, Mikhail E. Daneliya, René Dekker, Edward C. Dickinson, Timothy A. Dickinson, Peter Paul van Dijk, Klaas Douwe B. Dijkstra, Bálint Dima, Dmitry A. Dmitriev, Leni Duistermaat, John P. Dumbacher, Wolf L. Eiserhardt, Torbjørn Ekrem, Neal L. Evenhuis, Arnaud Faille, José L. Fernández-Triana, Emile Fiesler, Mark Fishbein, Barry G. Fordham, André V.L. Freitas, Natália R. Friol, Uwe Fritz, Tobias Frøslev, Vicki A. Funk, Stephen D. Gaimari, Guilherme S.T. Garbino, André R.S. Garraffoni, József Geml, Anthony C. Gill, Alan Gray, Felipe G. Grazziotin, Penelope Greenslade, Eliécer E. Gutiérrez, Mark S. Harvey, Cornelis J. Hazevoet, Kai He, Xiaolan He, Stephan Helfer, Kristofer M. Helgen, Anneke H. van Heteren, Francisco Hita Garcia, Norbert Holstein, Margit K. Horváth, Peter H. Hovenkamp, Wei Song Hwang, Jaakko Hyvönen, Melissa B. Islam, John B. Iverson, Michael A. Ivie, Zeehan Jaafar, Morgan D. Jackson, J. Pablo Jayat, Norman F. Johnson, Hinrich Kaiser, Bente B. Klitgård, Dániel G. Knapp, Jun Ichi Kojima, Urmas Kõljalg, Jenő Kontschán, Frank Thorsten Krell, Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber, Sven Kullander, Leonardo Latella, John E. Lattke, Valeria Lencioni, Gwilym P. Lewis, Marcos G. Lhano, Nathan K. Lujan, Jolanda A. Luksenburg, Jean Mariaux, Jader Marinho-Filho, Christopher J. Marshall, Jason F. Mate, Molly M. McDonough, Ellinor Michel, Vitor F.O. Miranda, Mircea Dan Mitroiu, Jesús Molinari, Scott Monks, Abigail J. Moore, Ricardo Moratelli, Dávid Murányi, Takafumi Nakano, Svetlana Nikolaeva, John Noyes, Michael Ohl, Nora H. Oleas, Thomas Orrell, Barna Páll-Gergely, Thomas Pape, Viktor Papp, Lynne R. Parenti, David Patterson, Igor Ya Pavlinov, Ronald H. Pine, Péter Poczai, Jefferson Prado, Divakaran Prathapan, Richard K. Rabeler, John E. Randall, Frank E. Rheindt, Anders G.J. Rhodin, Sara M. Rodríguez, D. Christopher Rogers, Fabio de O. Roque, Kevin C. Rowe, Luis A. Ruedas, Jorge Salazar-Bravo, Rodrigo B. Salvador, George Sangster, Carlos E. Sarmiento, Dmitry S. Schigel, Stefan Schmidt, Frederick W. Schueler, Hendrik Segers, Neil Snow, Pedro G.B. Souza-Dias, Riaan Stals, Soili Stenroos, R. Douglas Stone, Charles F. Sturm, Pavel Štys, Pablo Teta, Daniel C. Thomas, Robert M. Timm, Brian J. Tindall, Jonathan A. Todd, Dagmar Triebel, Antonio G. Valdecasas, Alfredo Vizzini, Maria S. Vorontsova, Jurriaan M. de Vos, Philipp Wagner, Les Watling, Alan Weakley, Francisco Welter-Schultes, Daniel Whitmore, Nicholas Wilding, Kipling Will, Jason Williams, Karen Wilson, Judith E. Winston, Wolfgang Wüster, Douglas Yanega, David K. Yeates, Hussam Zaher, Guanyang Zhang, Zhi Qiang Zhang, Hong Zhang Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Taxonomy is a scientific discipline that has provided the universal naming and classification system of biodiversity for centuries and continues effectively to accommodate new knowledge. A recent publication by Garnett and Christidis [1] expressed concerns regarding the difficulty that taxonomic changes represent for conservation efforts and proposed the establishment of a system to govern taxonomic changes. Their proposal to “restrict the freedom of taxonomic action” through governing subcommittees that would “review taxonomic papers for compliance” and their assertion that “the scientific community’s failure to govern taxonomy threatens the effectiveness of global efforts to halt biodiversity loss, damages the credibility of science, and is expensive to society” are flawed in many respects. They also assert that the lack of governance of taxonomy damages conservation efforts, harms the credibility of science, and is costly to society. Despite its fairly recent release, Garnett and Christidis' proposition has already been rejected by a number of colleagues [2,3,4,5,6,7,8]. Herein, we contribute to the conversation between taxonomists and conservation biologists aiming to clarify some misunderstandings and issues in the proposition by Garnett and Christidis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2005075
JournalPLoS biology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2018

Keywords

  • INHS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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