Submitted to: International Botanical Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/11/2005
Publication Date: 8/15/2005
Citation: Knapp, S., Bohs, L., Spooner, D.M., Nee, M., Bennett, J., Walley, L., Clark, J. 2005. Taxonomy as a team sport: PBI Solanum or how to monograph a monster. International Botanical Congress. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Solanum (Solanaceae), with between 1500 and 2000 species, ranks among the ten most species-rich genera of flowering plants, and is a truly large, monophyletic genus. Unlike some other large plant genera, molecular phylogenetic work has supported its monophyly. Taxonomic recognition of such groups must be a mix between pragmatism – ease of recognition for non-botanists is an often over-looked criterion – and perfection. Global taxonomic revision of such large, monophyletic groups is impossible for a single botanist, given the sheer volume of literature, specimens and techniques available today. We will explore how we are approaching a global species-level revision of Solanum. Both scientific and sociological issues can impede progress. Harnessing the power of the Internet and presenting data electronically only goes some way to overcoming the barriers to tackling such a group. Cooperation of large groups of taxonomists working towards common, rather than competitive goals, is key for monographing species-rich genera whose monophyly and ease of recognition makes their treatment as a whole logically preferable.