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Title(142-148) Proposals to improve the definition, utility, and curation of (type) specimens of fossil algae, fungi, and plants
AuthorGravendyck, J; Fensome, R A; Head, M A; Herendeen, P S; Riding, J B; Turland, N J
SourceTaxon vol. 71, issue 3, 2022 p. 705-706,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210674
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf; html
Subjectspaleontology; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; fossil algae; fossil plants
ProgramScience Laboratory Network
Released2022 06 04
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants ( is a paralegal document that lays out the rules for naming species and other taxa in the groups of organisms named. The Code has been developed and modified over decades based mainly on living forms, with fossils accommodated often only as an afterthought. Hence, terms such as gathering, duplicate and, especially, specimen have definitions tailored to accommodate modern plants but which do not clearly work for fossils. For example, for living plants a specimen under the Code can mean an assemblage from a gathering; but for fossils a specimen is invariably a single element. The current wording in the Code is not clear for fossils in these aspects, so we formally propose changes to the rules that would remedy the situation, and explain why these changes are necessary.

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