Member # 1
posted 14. June 2004 16:42
Science, January 16 2004
Taxonomy: Impediment or Expedient?
Quentin D. Wheeler, Peter H. Raven, Edward O. Wilson
Abstract: Society has a growing need for credible taxonomic information in order to allow us to conserve, manage, understand, and enjoy the natural world. At the same time, support for taxonomy and collections is failing to keep pace. Funds nominally allocated to taxonomy go largely to reconstruct molecular phylogenies, while thousands of species are threatened by imminent extinction. Ecologists working in the tropics have felt this lack of taxonomic knowledge as an impediment that inhibits their ability to analyze community-level phenomena. It is time to evaluate the sources of this impediment and address them. Taxonomy must facilitate, not obstruct, biodiversity studies and conservation.