Sorting the Carex

Posted on February 05, 2018 11:51 PM by bouteloua bouteloua


Starting to sort Carex into their sections. This involves creating the section on iNat then re-positioning the species underneath the section.

Starting per Flora of North America. Progress is listed in the spreadsheet link above. The spreadsheet is editable, please chip in some time if you've got it to help sort these sedges!

FNA does list the total number of species globally per section, but obviously only details those found in North America. Does anyone know a good source for global Carex section affinities (or want to put in a bit of effort searching for one) ? Looks like Flora of China also lists by section.

fyi sedgeheads @leannewallisbiologist @sanguinaria33 @wdvanhem @seanblaney @rcurtis @charlie @anewman @donaldasutherland @aaroncarlson @rroutledge @thebals @eraskin @elfaulkner (if you or someone you know might be interested in helping but is not yet a curator, let me know) (if you're not interested at all, I think you can unsubscribe from this journal post by clicking in the top right corner from your dashboard/homepage)

Posted by bouteloua about 5 years ago (Flag)

So essentially you have to change the parent taxon of each individual Carex species? That's quite the undertaking. I call "not Ovales".

Posted by wdvanhem about 5 years ago (Flag)

^ yes, exactly
I've already done Ovales per FNA though. I thought starting with the biggest one would be best. : )

Posted by bouteloua about 5 years ago (Flag)

sounds like fun! i will chip in when I am able to.

Posted by aarongunnar about 5 years ago (Flag)

@bouteloua well done!

Posted by wdvanhem about 5 years ago (Flag)

Great to be able to ID to section when material is too immature or photos not clear enough for species ID.
And we will be able to see all the Carex observations at rank=section here:

Posted by bouteloua about 5 years ago (Flag)

I am really glad you are doing this. I'll see if there is anything I can do later tonight.

Posted by rcurtis about 5 years ago (Flag)

Are sections not supposed to be in Proper case in parenthesis?

Posted by tonyrebelo about 5 years ago (Flag)

For plants? Following the code, e.g. "Carex sect. Ovales" is the appropriate format. Unfortunately, as you may be aware, iNaturalist stupidly forces sentence case for taxa names. It also removes punctuation.

Posted by bouteloua about 5 years ago (Flag)

fyi @treichard , if you want to collaborate in a similar way on other taxa !

Posted by bouteloua about 5 years ago (Flag)

But forcing "sentence case" for rank = species is totally correct. It is irrelevant for all other super-generic ranks, because there is only a single word, and hence "proper case" = "sentence case". It is also acceptable for subspecific ranks.
It is incorrect for Subgeneric taxa, and this needs attention. There are several issues here:

The subgenus, section, subsection is not a valid name on its own. It is only valid behind its generic name (just like the species - in fact, exactly like the specific epithet.) Hence Ovales is WRONG: it has to be Carex (Ovales) or Carex sect. Ovales

How to manage these? I would argue that by far the simplest way all round is to code the name as "Carex (Ovales)" This saves all sorts of unnecessary reprogramming of name displays (other than using Proper Case instead off Sentence Case. e.g.
section: Carex (Ovales)
taxonomy Carex > Carex (Ovalies) > Carex capensis
It also gets around the issue that because the name is Genus-subgenus, that duplicates are going to be a major issue (e.g. there are going to be dozens of section "Ovales") - making curation much easier.

I am not only willing to collaborate, I am DESPERATE to have subgeneric ranks in our larger taxa: Erica, Protea, Leucadendron, Disa, Gladiolus, Pelargonium, Cliffortia, Oxalis. But Scott is stalling ...

Posted by tonyrebelo about 5 years ago (Flag)

Carex?!? Cassi... You are such a glutton for punishment. Whew. :)

Posted by sambiology about 5 years ago (Flag)

The Field Museum hosted an international team a couple years ago to look at and review Carex. There was an online working group sending out occasional messages about progress. They were doing all the Carex of the world. Contact Andrew Hipp at The Morton to see if you can get access to their work as your "good source for global Carex section affinities"

Posted by thebals about 5 years ago (Flag)

@thebals with those keywords from your email I was able to find the existence of the Global Carex Group (GCG) which has been recently active:
as well as this paper which I look forward to reading: "Megaphylogenetic Specimen-Level Approaches to the Carex (Cyperaceae) Phylogeny Using ITS, ETS, and matK Sequences: Implications for Classification"

Posted by bouteloua about 5 years ago (Flag)

I just love the term "megaphylogenetic"

Posted by wdvanhem about 5 years ago (Flag)

The key (and lethal) sentence is in the abstract of that paper: "Most sections were recovered as non-monophyletic." Although the amount of time it's going to take to prepare monographs and recircumscribe the sections is probably sufficiently great that the present project is still worthwhile--the material on the Morton wiki appears to be notes on how that's going to be undertaken.

Posted by choess about 5 years ago (Flag)

Oops, sorry, that's already acknowledged in the spreadsheet. Tacked on a few species to sect. Phacocystis from FoC.

Posted by choess about 5 years ago (Flag)
Posted by bouteloua almost 2 years ago (Flag)

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