Biodiversity Science ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (6): 755-760.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.06005

• Bioinventory • Previous Article     Next Article

Catalogue of global gymnosperms: problems and perspectives

Yong Yang*   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2012-01-08 Revised:2012-07-28 Online:2013-01-04
  • Yong Yang

The catalogue of global species is a primary focus of biodiversity science. A complete species checklist of gymnosperms is possible through repeated and mutual verification by comparing global checklists with regional and local checklists. To evaluate potential inconsistencies in the current catalogue of global gymnosperms (e.g., spelling, authorship, and original literature of scientific names), I compared species records from three gymnosperm species lists, including the Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae (FRPS), Flora of China (FOC), and The Plant List (TPL). Errors included corresponding page number, publication year of the original naming literature, different opinions on species definitions (e.g. lumper vs. splitter) among authors, and mismatching species entities and their corresponding scientific names. To address these shortfalls, I propose measures like database development, comparison of different Floras and Checklists, and comparison of different species datasets. These actions would facilitate detection of missing names and/or literature as well as inconsistent records. The generally accepted taxonomic treatments will be adopted and the catalogue of problematic taxa will be corrected in a new taxonomic revision. This case study provides potential solutions to address problems that exist when attempting to catalogue global species diversity.

The Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences ed. (中国科学院生物多样性委员会 编) (2010) Catalogue of life,China,2010 Annual Checklist-CD-ROM (中国生物物种名录 2010版CD-ROM). Beijing.
Cheng WC (郑万钧),Fu LK (傅立国) (1978). Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sincae (中国植物志). Tomus 7,Gymnospermae (裸子植物门). Beijing: Science Press. (In Chinese)
Wu Z-Y,Raven P H eds. (1999). Flora of China. Vol. 4. Cycadaceae through Fagaceae. Science Press,Beijing & Missouri Botanical Garden Press,St. Louis. 4: 1-105.
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