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Korf, Richard P. Reinventing taxonomy: a curmudgeon's view of 250 years of fungal taxonomy, the crisis in biodiversity, and the pitfalls of the phylogenetic age. Mycotaxon 93: 407-415. 2005.

ABSTRACT: Biological taxonomy is bleeding. The fungi are but one example. There is an almost ignored crisis of impending loss in biodiversity, while the funding necessary to provide basic inventories and monographic studies is simultaneously siphoned away by the misuse of the great potentials of molecular biology. One disturbing result has been frequent support of needless, repetitive phylogenetic studies. A seminal paper, Taxonomic triage and the poverty of phylogeny, by entomologist Quentin D. Wheeler, is cited as required reading for all biologists. His theses are that Taxonomy, already weakened by decades of neglect, now suffers the loss of positions and funding, and that considering what is at stake for human and environmental welfare in the biodiversity crisis, it is time to triage and move descriptive taxonomy to the forefront of science funding priorities. Reinventing taxonomy may provide answers.

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KEYWORDS: collecting, monographs, inventories, PhyloCode, DNA

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