|Author: ||J. Ochsmann|
|Keywords: ||codes of nomenclature, ICBN, ICNCP, classification, taxonomic categories|
In its last two editions, the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) has undergone dramatic changes, resulting in a reduction of the number of accepted categories and the adoption of the culton concept.
Whereas the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) is still a system exclusively for scientific use, it is the scope of the present ICNCP to provide a simple system for practical purposes for a very diverse group of users with different intentions.
The present problems can be assigned to three major groups: 1) classification, 2) new methods, and 3) nomenclature.
The first two aspects affect the ICBN as well as the ICNCP and are due to the lack of an adequate theoretical background for the treatment of reticulate evolution.
Though the present system of the ICNCP is far from being satisfactory, many nomenclatural problems result from the vast number of categories that have been introduced in the past.
The sometimes very limited use of categories or their re-definition makes the comparison of different works very difficult, if not impossible.
Aside from these general problems the acceptance of the ICNCP is low as 1) for certain taxonomic aspects there is a lack of accepted categories, 2) some rules for naming cultivars are still too complicated or restrictive for practical use, and 3) the important commercial sector with trade-marks is not covered by the ICNCP. Some needs for the future can be identified: 1) harmonisation of the Codes 2) consequent use of them for new names or combinations 3) avoidance of ambiguous categories 4) inclusion of rules for naming clades.
The development and establishment of worldwide databases providing tools for linking and maintaining information on the relationships of plant names will be of great help in this process.
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