Whitepine Meeting, December 11

Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 7pm, White Pine Chapter Meeting
Speaker: Ben Legler, UI Stillinger Herbarium Collections Manager
Topic: The Naming of Species (and why do names change?)
Location: 1912 Center, Great Room, 412 East Third St., Moscow, Idaho.

A flux of new data in recent decades has upended many well-established ideas about how plants are related to each other, leading to numerous and often frustrating changes to familiar names and classifications. What is driving these changes? Why should we bother learning new names and classifications? Aren’t scientific names supposed to be stable? Although some name changes seem frivolous, most are well-justified and improve our ability to understand and communicate about botanical biodiversity. In this presentation Ben will take a look at the process of naming species and the reasons why names and classifications change.

Because many of us learned plant names using Hitchcock & Cronquist’s 1973 Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Ben will show how that Flora has influenced our perspective on changes to names and classifications. Finally, he’ll touch on the biological complexities of defining species and ongoing discoveries of new species.