Fungal names

What is the source of the fungal names used on FRDBI?

 
Over the last couple of years a project has been running to update the list of names held on the UK Species Inventory (UKSI) at the Natural History Museum, London to bring it in line with the fungal names used in Britain on the FRDBI, Kew's Checklist of the British and Irish Basidiomycota and the list of names and the taxonomic opinions on Index Fungorum and Species Fungorum. The UKSI list is the basis of the names used on the new FRDBI, the Biological Records Center iRecord system, the National Biological Network and the Atlases of Living Scotland and Wales. The first complete iteration of this process has just been completed in Autumn 2016 and these names and taxonomy are those shown on the new FRDBI. Future updates to the names will take place at intervals perhaps twice a year. There will be a system in place to allow the speedy entry of new British species onto the system. The system not only includes the species names but also the full taxonomic hierachy to enable searches on families, orders, etc. 
 

What name should I use?

 
Just as in the old FRDBI the new system keeps a permanent record of the name originally entered for the specimen even if was many years ago and is no longer used. Alongside this is a link to what is currently thought by taxonomists to be the current name for this species. This latter name can change regularly over time due to a variety of reasons and could continue to do so into the future. The only name in the record that is sacrosanct and never changes is the original name given to the specimen. The question that needs to be answered is what did the original person naming the specimen mean by the name they gave it. The person will have matched the specimen to a description in a specific publication(s) or a concept that they had in mind. It would be useful if not essential to know what that description or concept was. Thus specifying the source of the description ie book or publication or a fullest description of the specimen that was possible at the time is required. This makes it clear to anyone in the future what was found. The new FRDBI makes it easy to select one of 200 currently used publications or a space to enter anything that is not present. This might sound over the top but many books used by field mycologist have examples where the name does not match the description or photograph and just entering a name would give a false account of what was found.
 
Problem scenario: A book has a description of Genusname1 speciesname1. Later it is decided that this should now be called Genusname2 speciesname2 because an older name has been found to be published and has precendence. Later still DNA shows that this really is two species that with retrospect can be found to have minor morphological differences Genusname2 speciesname3 and Genusname2 speciesname2, the latter matching the orginal description of Genusname2 speciesname2 using the new subtle differences. The question now is what species was the original record?  It maybe that looking at the original descriptions of Genusname1 speciesname1 it can be seen that it matches Genusname2 speciesname3. Thus if the original record had been entered as Genusname2 speciesname2 without looking at that description because that was the 'latestname' then it would have been incorrectly assigned. If however it was recorded as Genusname1 speciesname1 along with the source of the description it could now be correctly assigned.
 
Misdetermination: I have assumed that the specimen has not been incorrectly matched to the description in the above. When the original determination was incorrect and review of the record /specimen / description / photos etc makes it clear that it was misdetermined and was an entirely different species then the name given by the recorder can be changed BUT the previous assigned name is put in an audit trail in the new FRDBI and can be seen easily on the full record. This are never lost. The misdetermination maybe because the determiner misinterpreted the description or because the publication was incorrect, by assigning a different species description / photo to the name. Recording the publication used would highlight the error in this latter case allowing it to be corrected.
 
Bottom line: The best name to pick is the name in a book / publication that most closely matches your specimen along with the name of that publication even if it is not the latest name.