22 days to go - Narol 14PA44 - and the naming of names

Narol 14PA44 is part of the RM of St. Andrews, RM of Springfield and the RM of East St Paul. Both the Red River and the Floodway run diagonally through the square rejoining just to the north. The eastern portion of Birds Hill Provincial Park is located in the southeast corner. Birds Hill Park is situated on an esker complex rising above the surrounding plain. The changes in relief and soil provide a wide variety of conditions that interest a similar wide variety of organisms.

At the time of posting, 1,358 observations had been uploaded by 83 observers. 438 species have been identified here, including 244 plants and 83 insects. The most frequently observed species is the Bur Oak with 91 observations. The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas mentions that 37 species of birds were confirmed breeding in this square, with another 53 species possible and probable. Here's the full list.

iNat has chosen a community based identification process. This makes huge sense as the iNat team is small and the community is continuously growing and multi-talented. You may have already experienced some expectation gap around getting identifications of your observations - especially if you thought you were downloading an 'expert' app. No worries - a little adjustment to the expectations and I think you will find iNat to be an extremely interesting and useful tool in learning which organism is which.

The first asset I would like to draw your attention to is the dynamic taxonomy data. Taxonomy - the study of naming and classification of living things - has been making enthusiastic use of DNA analysis to review and revise our collective understanding of how things are named scientifically. This can be a little unsettling when huge swathes of your reference material (and your memorized facts) throw off their old names to parade in shiny new ones. iNat has worked towards selecting authoritative global sources for the names and portions of the iNat community specialize in keeping the naming used in iNat in sync with the latest understanding. These changes are then propagated through the observation data so your observations remain associated with the name that is currently belongs to the organism you observed.

Here's an example. Our Manitoba provincial flower, the Prairie Crocus, used to be known as Anemone patens ssp multifida. When the new name Pulsatilla nuttalliana became authoritative, identifications using the old name that were attached to observations were automatically copied and updated with the new name. You can see in the example - the original identifications and the auto-revised copies.

This is actually not the first time that the scientific name has changed for this plant. It was first described in 1817 under the name Anemone nuttalliana DC; this then lumped in with the European Anemone patens as a variety in 1841 becoming Anemone patens var. multifida. Things stayed quiet for a while then it was elevated to a subspecies in 1941 - Anemone patens subsp. multifida. Then DNA studies uncovered Anemone had a number of genera lumped in including the group that this plant belonged to. After a period of discussion, the new name became Pulsatilla nuttalliana.

Hope you are enjoying the spring activity as much as I am!

Publicado por marykrieger marykrieger, 07 de abril de 2021


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