Non-scientific groupings as a practical tool for identification and projects

I was recently trying to start a project for lichens of my area and ran into a problem:
“Lichens” are polyphyletic and I had no idea which phyla of fungi to include in the project.

The existing lichen project for lichens in that area had apparently encountered the same problem and had just simply set the species-filter to “Fungi” which made the whole thing kind of pointless (which was the reason for why I wanted to start a new one).

I’d like to discuss the usefulness of including non-scientific groups into iNat to use as a filter for projects or the ID-module (or maybe even to use as an initial ID if you’re not sure where something belongs, but don’t want to leave it in “unknown” or a low-precision phylum).

I know and agree that iNaturalist should adhere to the scientifically accepted taxonomy, which polyphyla and paraphyla aren’t, so I can understand if people dislike this idea. If ever implemented, I think there’d need to be a very obvious way to mark those categories as non-scientific at least.
However, I still think it may be helpful in a lot of other cases too. (Reptiles? Fishes? Fungi excluding lichens?)

As I said, due to the unscientific-ness I can imagine that a lot of people may not necessarily like this idea, though. I would be interested to hear your opinions. :)

One workaround is a project.
Everyone knows what a tree is?


This is a question that’s been raised a number of times before with regard to lichens, mangroves, moths, and more.

The upshot is that it’s not going to be implemented and that instead the way to do it is to make a project that filters for specific species, which has been done for lichens and mangroves at minimum, and probably for others too.

Past questions & feature requests (not comprehensive):

Projects and project lists:


Thank you. Yes, I did want to create such a project, but it was precisely the lack of a group of all lichens that stopped me at the time.
(I’m still planning on starting the project, but I want to learn more about lichen taxonomy in advance as I don’t just blindly want to copy a filter list off of another project. I guess in that way there not being polyphyletic groups on iNat is beneficial too. Haha)

Information regarding lichens and a precise and full lichen taxonomy is quite obscure compared to other phyla. I’m sure the information exists somewhere, but it takes more than a few minutes of googling to find it, so I haven’t gotten around to it the past week. :sweat_smile:

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Thanks for the links! :)
It’s a bit unfortunate (at least for the lazy parts of my brain haha), but I can understand the reasoning of not implementing this, even if I may not fully agree with it.

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