Chris Yeates wrote:
* I use a relational database for records, so the 'hook' for the species doesn't change - change the name to the preferred one in the Species file and all the records change along with it
How on earth do you keep up with all the changes that are going on at the moment?
By and large the reorganisation of fungal taxonomy should be viewed as helpful - even by us amateur field mycologists. A lot of it makes obvious sense - Coprinus comatus
in the same genus as "Coprinus plicatilis"
? or Collybia cookei
in the same genus as "Collybia butyracea"
? Even at the macroscopic level it makes sense . . .
The key thing is this situation shouldn't put people (especially those just dipping their toes into the wonderful, yet often confusing, world of mycology) off.
Identifying a fungus is not the same as naming it
. Ideally one would compare ones finds with the type collection - this is what (one hopes) many of the "re-namers" are doing. Sadly type collections sometimes no longer exist (and the likes of us do not have access to them). I can think of numerous occasions in which I have collected what I am certain is the same fungus (identification
) but have not (yet?) found a name for it - in some cases that fungus may well not yet have a name (be 'undescribed').
So one generally relies on descriptions and illustrations, and here an element of trust comes in. Often all one can say is "my fungus corresponds well with the description in <whatever> (identification
), and so I am going to name it 'x' (naming
)". Keeping vouchers of unusual finds should be encouraged - if you know that all the records of a particular fungus recorded by a particular collector are based on their understanding of a particular name, that can be extremely useful (even if that name was not correct in the first place - those records can be re-assigned).
So I would encourage people not to worry too much about " keep[ing] up with all the changes that are going on at the moment"; but if they think they have found something significant keep the specimen, and note down the resource(s) they used to name it.
I hope that makes some sort of sense . . .