Mammalian species and the twofold nature of taxonomy: A comment on Taylor et al. 2019

Frank E. Zachos, Les Christidis, Stephen T. Garnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    In a recently published paper, Taylor and colleagues discussed different approaches and interpretations of mammalian taxonomy and their bearing on more general issues such as conservation and evolutionary biology. We fully endorse the fundamental importance of taxonomy and its being grounded on scientific principles. However, we also deplore a lack of awareness in the literature of the fact that taxonomy is a twofold enterprise that encompasses not only (i) the scientific description and quantitative analysis of biodiversity but also (ii) an executive decision as to how the results of (i) are translated into names. This has serious ramifications for the conservation of our planet's dwindling biodiversity and when taxonomic names are used as raw data for ecological and evolutionary analyses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-5
    Number of pages5
    JournalMammalia
    Volume84
    Issue number1
    Early online date25 Oct 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2019

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