Who is inactivating valid subspecies?

It appears that someone is curating taxon names by marking subspecies and varieties that are not on POWO as inactive.

Please NOTE:

Autonyms on POWO:
“Autonyms are currently only included for plant families that have been peer reviewed and which are also available on the WCSP website https://wcsp.science.kew.org/ as well as some in Asteraceae, Ferns and Fabaceae. We hope to add all autonyms when the geography has been completed.”

So, basically, if autonyms are missing in POWO and the iNaturalist plant dictionary, they should be added on request for any species that has any subspecies or varieties listed. Please do not inactivate them!

Subspecific plant taxa on POWO:
“Both POWO and the WCVP names backbone use the IPNI Life Sciences Identifier (LSID) as their ID’s and therefore only plant names that are also in the International Plant Names Index (IPNI) can be shown. Consequently, not all names in the WCVP database can currently be shown, in particular Old World infraspecific names from before 1971 are largely missing but we are working with IPNI to add the hundreds of thousands of missing names”.

It is therefore utterly wrong to inactivate any subspecific names in the iNaturalist dictionary, on the basis that they are not on POWO. POWO cannot be used as the botanical authority below the species rank.

In the case of southern Africa, we defer to BODATSA (http://newposa.sanbi.org/sanbi/Explore) - what other regions default to, if any, I have no idea.

Please - no matter how well meaning - do not inactivate subspecific taxa on iNaturalist without first consulting with the local users and taxonomists.

((see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/problems-with-taxon-inactivation/24429 - but that deals with issues around inactivation, not the reasons for why inactivation should not be automatically assumed for plants below species rank))


Yes, this is certainly not a good idea. If one finds a taxon that isn’t in our taxonomic authority, the taxon should be flagged so that others can comment on it.


Seems like there should maybe be a feature request to not allow autonyms to be inactivated if there are any active subspecies or varieties in the same species. That would force people to evaluate the other active subtaxa first.


I absolutely agree. Botany is not a religion.


Is somewhere a wiki on this forum where quotes can be saved for eternity?


Thank you for pointing this out Tony. I moved this to the Curators category since inactivation is something only curators can do.

thanks for the awesome information.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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