Taxonomic Swap 122502 (Guardado el 07/03/2023)

desconocido | Rubus taxonomy
Añadido por nschwab el 14 de febrero de 2023 06:48 | Comprometido por rfoster el 7 de marzo de 2023
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what's the reasoning behind this swap?

Publicado por thebeachcomber hace 7 meses

@thebeachcomber The inclusion of a complete infrageneric classification of the subgenus Rubus which makes it unnecessary and redundant. I'm still working on it.

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

It would be good if you let people know of your intentions in the open flag that exist on this topic where what is useful & desirable has been discussed at length
https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/550027

I'm definitely not convinced that a full infrageneric taxonomy is of much help with assigning IDs to observations. As has been stated elsewhere, the purpose of iNaturalist is not to be an authoritative taxonomic framework, rather "iNaturalist is an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature" (https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/what+is+it).

So, getting back to the practicalities, all the observations of introduced weedy European blackberries in Australia and elsewhere that currently can't be identified beyond "Rubus fruticosus Agg." will now fall into a subgenus Rubus catchall, is that correct?

@reinderw is this what you are in favour of?

Publicado por rfoster hace 7 meses

@rfoster This is a proposition. As you can see it is not committed and is a draft. Drafts are made for wider consultation... I didn't have the time to make an extensive explanatory comment as this was created after long night spent studying Rubus infrageneric taxonomy and applying it to iNaturalist...
POWO doesn't support complexes nor infrageneric classification so I don't see how it could align with its taxonomy...
If you read the swap information carefully you'll see that it would be knocked back to section Rubus and not genus Rubus.

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

Well the fact that you have emptied the complex of the species it previously held means that it has effectively been swapped anyway as the grouping is now meaningless. Aside from this actual record though it is the applying of an agreed taxonomy that you needed to alert people to. I don't think there will be any objections at all if it is done sensibly, but you do have an obligation to discuss it with other stakeholders before proceeding.

Publicado por rfoster hace 7 meses

@rfoster It was already discussed elsewhere but no one had the strength of attacking its application:
https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/550027

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

Rubus now has an infrageneric classification. This is still work in progress given the number of species that need to be classified.
The ranks I used are the following:
subgenus
section
subsection
complex (to substitute series)

All of these are based on morphology and "traditional" bramble taxonomy. Multiples phylogenetic studies have shown that the traditional subgenera are polyphyletic, same for many sections. These will probably be reworked in the future but it will take a long time.
From a practical point of view, they are very useful as literature uses these ranks since a very long time and that identification is usually done using criteria for infrageneric classification down to the species. This can narrow down the identification very precisely while allowing for a more general identification at section or subgenus level.

Rubus fruticosus complex contained species from multiple subsections (namely Rubus & Hiemales). We could be remapping observations by knocking them back to the section level. However, it should be noted that many observations belong to other sections of subgenus Rubus, especially from extra-european and cultivated specimens. This seems to be caused by both incorrect CV identifications and general misidentifications. This issue need to be discussed.

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

Yes. I'm aware of that discussion and your contribution to it is notably absent. You do need to let people know that you intend to proceed and confirm exactly what it is you intend to do, name the authority you are following etc.. Getting on with it is admirable but you do need to communicate your intentions in order to keep people onside.

Publicado por rfoster hace 7 meses

It's always easy to criticize other's work on details... Sure I could have written an extensive comment with an extensive plan and bibliography and wait two months before getting a response from one person saying "I'm not an expert but it seems okay"... Or even better, I could write a peer-reviewed paper in a well-known journal before submitting these changes!
This is a non-destructive change and it can be modified quickly. It's nothing more than setting a basic framework for Rubus infrageneric classification. So if you're not happy with this classification you can change it or even wipe it completely.
Authorities are regional for this genus and knowledge about this genus is very disparate depending on countries. I have the time of dealing with the infrageneric classification but not to write an extensive literature review of the genus. Or maybe someone has a fund to pay me during this time?

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

Now you are being disingenuous - all you needed to add to the discussion is the same explanation that you've provided above in your previous response, plus the heads-up that you were about to get on with it. In these instances a lack of response within a few days can be taken as tacit agreement, in my view. I will add a link to this swap/conversation to the flag so that others are aware.

Publicado por rfoster hace 7 meses

To just to confirm: this draft will not be committed until the taxon Rubus fruticosus 55911 with 15562 observations is either empty or only contains observations that cannot be identified to subgenus, section, subsection or complex
Seems like a large task still to be done.

What is strange about Complex Rubus fruticosus 55911 as currently constructed is that it does not contain the species Rubus fruticosus, or any of the other species in the complex.
In addition, it does not fall into the subsection Rubus, where surely it belongs?
Would considerable effort not be saved by including the complex within the subgeneric classification, with its constituent members, instead of discombobulating it, when so many people are using the concept?

Publicado por tonyrebelo hace 7 meses

@tonyrebelo Rubus fruticosus contained multiple taxa with all of them being from section Rubus (species from multiple complexes of subsection Rubus and Hiemales). Species are now moved in their respective complex. This made Rubus fruticosus complex empty.

Looking at current use of this complex, it is used for species for the whole subgenus Rubus. Most of them are section Rubus but some of them are section Corylifolii. Going more precise than this for the swap would make re-identification mandatory but combining it into subgenus Rubus wouldn't make it necessary because of the low precision of the initial use.

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

@rfoster I don't know how I could have provided the same explanation as I did a posteriori before doing the work. I don't know if you ever worked on the implementation of the infrageneric classification of a big genus but it's not as easy as it seems. Many changes are made on the fly. If you want a perfect framework before submitting the changes you need to write a monograph... Maybe I could have at least notified people that I wanted to proceed, okay. But it's not the core of the problem...
Also, I see you modified your first comment that was more agressive and you included more information after I responded to it. Isn't that a bit disingenuous as well?

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

I'm definitely not convinced that a full infrageneric taxonomy is of much help with assigning IDs to observations. As has been stated elsewhere, the purpose of iNaturalist is not to be an authoritative taxonomic framework, rather "iNaturalist is an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature" (https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/what+is+it).

The goal here is to provide a mean to identify Rubus with an alternative to what was previously available. IDing to Rubus fruticosus complex (which doesn't mean anything as it's an entire subgenus) is very imprecise and IDing to species is very difficult. Many batologists identify up to the species but with many undescribed species, hybrids or close species they can at least go down to the series or subsection.

So, getting back to the practicalities, all the observations of introduced weedy European blackberries in Australia and elsewhere that currently can't be identified beyond "Rubus fruticosus Agg." will now fall into a subgenus Rubus catchall, is that correct?

It depends of the region. Yes, they will all fall into subgenus Rubus but for the Australian example they can be easily assigned to a subsection or section as they're either North American species or subsection Hiemales. In a way, subgenus Rubus will replace the broad "complex" concept that was present before while allowing to have more precise identification.

Publicado por nschwab hace 7 meses

I agree that it would've been helpful to make a short note on the flag saying what the plans were; that was the purpose of the flag, in case anyone has strong disagreements about taxonomical changes. Regardless, there is a note on the flag now.

But that aside, I'm glad this is being done as I agree that infrageneric taxonomy would be beneficial for Rubus; e.g. many of my Rubus observations have been at genus level for years and hopefully some could at least be taken down to subgenus. I think that was also the consensus of the flag as well. Thanks for taking the initiative and working it out!

Publicado por upupa-epops hace 7 meses

Likewise glad to see something done. Even if it turns out to be imperfect, having some infrageneric ranks available would be very useful!

Publicado por reinderw hace 7 meses

@nschwab there's no reason not to go ahead and commit this swap now, that I can see.

Publicado por rfoster hace 7 meses

Unless anyone objects I am going to go ahead and commit this, as having "complex Rubus fruticosus" hanging on its own, no longer the parent to any species, is causing unnecessary community ID conflicts (e.g. a species level ID added to a string of Complex R.f IDs , formerly an ID improvement, is now a maverick ID)

Publicado por rfoster hace 7 meses

It still seems unnecessarily heavy handed to me. However, with only a few dozen cases from southern Africa, I am certain that we can sort our area out quite quickly.

It does create a huge burden on identifiers though for other regions. But if the concept is wrong and all need to be reviewed anyway, then OK. But we should also be questioning what the concept actually is as percieved by identifiers and perhaps more clear pointers should be posted somewhere for the core ID team of Rubus?

Publicado por tonyrebelo hace 7 meses

There's going to be little difference, really, with "Section Rubus" being just another higher level ID, used when the exact species can't be pinned down. Unfortunately it doesn't have the wide user recognition that "Complex Rubus fruticosus" has in parts of the world where the Rubus fruticosus Agg. species are found, especially as introduced weeds. I guess we'll get used to it soon enough and it will fix the problem of people erroneously using the species ID in place of the Complex record. Using an infrageneric taxonomy does, of course, mean that most (all?) Rubus taxon records will appear to deviate from POWO, simply because the parent records differ. This is not a big deal but the fine-scale subdivision does cause one real issue in that it messes with the "compare" function which, by default, looks only at taxa with the parent in common. You can widen the comparison if you're aware of this but this case is particularly problematic because of the "Rubus" name in common for the section and subgenus, in addition to the genus. It has already caught me out, leaving me wondering why it only offered the one option, matching an incorrect ID, rather than the several native Australian Rubus species that I knew occurred in the region.

Publicado por rfoster hace 7 meses

Very late to this, but in the main looks OK. My big reservation is that observations of Rubus Sect. Corylifolii may have been included in Rubus fruticosus agg. Just checked in Stace 4th edition (2019) and the circumspection of R. fruticosus agg. may or may not cover the former taxon. My suspicion is that many observers, at least in the UK, will tend to use R. fruticosus agg. and it's successor for anything which is not one of the very distinct Rubus spp (roughly Raspberry, Dewberry, Stone Bramble, Cloudberry). Obviously, this may be covered by identification of existing observations to the more detailed hierarchy, although with keys to hand it's not clear that this is possible in many cases (I have heard that many Rubus specialists so rely on primicanes for identification they cannot tell you what colour flowers a microspecies has).

Publicado por sk53 hace 7 meses

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