I am in favour of aligning the site taxonomy to the chosen backbone when the latter provide a satisfying, reliable, scientifically accurate treatment. Anyway, mainly due to the iNat system that does not allow that an identification at the subspecific level could be leading in the shown name of the observation, in certain cases there can be what I consider some minor issues.
For example: here in the Mediterranean area the cultivated pear (Pyrus communis) is very rarely found growing in the wild while other taxa such as P. pyraster (recently addressed as P. communis subsp. pyraster in iNat taxonomy) is relatively common in wild scrubs. Unfortunately, many observations are IDed symply as P. communis. I think this can be also because the CV suggests P. communis as one the likeliest IDs and because in some cases users seem not to care for subspecies.
The same could apply to the cultivated flax (Linum usitatissimum) and its wild ancestor L. bienne (recently addressed by taxonomists as L. usitatissimum subsp. angustifolium).
I do not deny that, for a mere reason of practicality, in some cases it could be useful to separate the nominate cultivated taxon and the wild (and frequent in the wild) ancestor at the specific level.
I wonder if other users have developed a similar point of view with other taxa and if someone could propose a similar or a different solution.
I am not very familiar with plant taxonomy, but I think this makes sense. I have elevated certain animal subspecies to species level in our taxonomy because of the complications with subspecies.
The CV also won’t suggest subspecies.
Thanks, it is interesting to read that also for animals the same problem occurs.
And this is rather problematic since unexperienced users often rely too much in machines and do not figure that subspecies may exist.
I’m not so sure: many subspecies distinctions aren’t mainly based on visual characters (but this has already been discussed in other threads so I won’t elaborate here).
It is problematic as long as some users are unaware that what they photographed is a wild subspecies and not the cultivated (and rarely escaped) one.
Together with the impossibility that one subspecific identification could lead to the change in the overall observation identification and the fact that many users does not confirm other users’ identification, it will possibly result in the overestimate of the frequency of the cultivated nominate subspecies.
Oh, yes, I agree with this.
Also could apply to Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota ssp. carota, vs cultivated carrots, Daucus carota ssp. sativus. Interestingly in that case probably the vast majority all of the 45,328 observations are wild ssp. carota but there are more subspecies IDs to sativus (341 vs 456).
Prime example here:
Beta vulgaris in the San Francisco Bay Area
Most if not all of the Beta vulgaris around here are quite clearly escaped Swiss chard, Beta vulgaris ssp cicla, still having the thick, succulent petioles and quite as tasty as the ones from the supermarket. Yet the majority are IDed only to species level, as “Beet,” which taxon also includes the wild ancestor, not, to my knowledge, present in North America.
The case of the wild carrot is similar but only to a certain extent given that the wild and most common one is the nominate subspecies. Moreover, the taxonomy of Daucus carota is extremely complex and has become even more complex since the coastal taxa have been merged as subspecies to D. carota s.l.
Similarly, here the most common beet is B. vulgaris subsp. maritima, that is the wild and native subspecies.
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