the use of somewhat improvised naming conventions here on MO is a byproduct of having no other means by which observations can be sorted. development on this and a number of other fronts has been slim to non-existent, with no visible light at the end of the tunnel, as what little development staff the site has is already at capacity taking on other site and non-site responsibilities. they are also all volunteers.
that said, rest assured that the cuttingest edge of mycological systematics is still performed by humans with eyeballs, eyeballs they occasionally have to rely on for grouping things by what they look like as part of ascertaining their most perfect taxonomic placement. these sensu lato and quotation marked names are still part of mycological parlance, only their strict delimitations have changed. they were also deliberately chosen over their English language alternatives (eg: Bolete, Agaric, Polypore) with the idea of keeping the name database as Latin as possible.
if/when there is a way to sort by morphology without co-opting the name and/or author fields, I’m all for restoring purity to the name database. Until then, the current system is all we’ve got, and it is much, much better than nothing.
for the same reason that Basidiomycota is less useful.
is obviously just a quirk of a finitely fine-grained MO, nobody actually claims “sensu lato” was a person.
It’s a widely used academic phrase, I’m not sure what your opposition to it is exactly. https://scholar.google.com/...;
Phylloporus is in Boletales, yes… but it is in Agaricales sensu lato, meaning “any fungus with gills”. There used to be a species called Agaricus rhodoxanthus.
and “sensu lato” is certainly not an Author. If I add Agaricales sensu lato to the taxonomic database for my app, it creates an illegitimate name similar to what now exists on MO.
People who are interested and/or knowledgeable in agarics will want to find observations of gilled mushrooms, but not other things in Basidiomycota. Likewise for people who are interested in boletes, or crusts, or whatever. Agaricales sensu lato is legitimate by nomenclatural rules, it’s just not a current taxon. Phylloporus is in Agaricales sensu lato, but not in Agaricales sensu stricto. Regardless, “non-fungal” isn’t a legitimate taxon but it’s a useful name.
If you put the name in as Agaricales sensu lato, it shouldn’t consider it an ambiguous name.
Co-opting fields for other than their intended purpose can create a bit of a mess. There are currently two different Accepted Names for Agaricales, one is legitimate by nomenclatural rules, the other is not. If something no longer fits into Agaricales, then it doesn’t belong there and should placed within the proper order, or if someone doesn’t know which order it belongs in, because they are uncertain of the id, they should narrow it down as far as possible, whether that be Fungi, or Basidiomycota. What is the true advantage of my uploading an observation where I’m looking for ID help and specifying it as Agaricales sensu lato versus just saying I know its a Fungus, or I know its a Basidiomycete? And how helpful is it if someone submits an observation as Fungi, and the best I can do for them is “narrow it down” to “Agaricales sensu lato”?
Now I have to admit to an ulterior motive. I’ve been working on an iPhone app to log mushroom observations in the field. The app can upload selected observations to MO. When the name of the mushroom is ambiguous on MO, the upload fails.
because lots of things that are very different fit in them. Agaricales sensu lato is WILDLY useful for macroscopic identification.
I’d like to suggest that rather than putting notes like “sensu lato” in the Author field, that we stick with putting Authors there. The rules of nomenclature would allow us to have only one legitimate version of Agricales, and that would be Agricales Underw. If you are looking for a broader classification than the order, but want to be more specific than Fungi L., why not specify the Class, Agaricomycetes, or even the Division Basidiomycota that you feel the mushroom belongs to.
I’m proposing that rather than defaulting observations which observers can’t ID as Fungi sp. upon creation, the site could require that a general body form be selected (agaric, polypore, bolete, crust, coral, gastromycete, etc.). If it is truly a head scratcher, an Not Sure option could be selected instead.
Thanks David, firstly for IDing so many of my mushrooms, and then for explaining this name which appeared on many of my spottings! Now the sense lato bit makes more sense…
Are you saying it is better to put ‘unknown’ for the name of those fungi I don’t know the name of?
was created in an attempt to provide finer sorting for the growing number of arbitrarily named “Fungi sp.” observations, the vast majority of which can be narrowed down further than that very broad designation. It is an ugly name, as it has the potential to propagate the outdated notion that macromorphology determines taxonomic placement, but consider the alternative: everything unidentified on the site simply goes into the great Fungi sp. garbage patch, most never to be seen or heard from again. By introducing this roughest of sorting methods for observations headed toward, nearing, or long-occupying the bottom of the Mushroom Observer pile, they can at least be recalled and revisited based on their general macromorphology(s).
At the time of writing, there are over 100 pages left to sort through. Rather than have this job continually fall to whoever is crazy/patient enough to undertake it, I propose that the creation of new observations require the uploader to pick a general morphotype (or ‘unknown’ if unsure). This could then result in some kind of consensus-based marker, as searchable as any other observaiton field, or the automatic designation of a new default name choice specifically tailored to the fruiting body type (Agaricales sensu lato for agarics, Polyporales sensu lato for polypores, Corticiales sensu lato for corticioids, etc.), or both.
Created: 2012-08-30 17:33:13 PDT (-0700) by Danny Newman (myxomop)
Last modified: 2016-04-30 23:25:24 PDT (-0700) by Joe Cohen (Joseph D. Cohen)
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