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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
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ISSN Imprimer: 1521-9437
ISSN En ligne: 1940-4344

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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v7.i12.50
pages 29-38

Reflections on Changing Names and Related Nomenclatural Issues in Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms

David L. Hawksworth
Departamiento de Biologia Vegetal II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Cornplutense, Plaza de Ranion e Cajal, Ciudad Universitaria; MycoNova, The Yellow House, Madrid, Spain; Permanent address: MycoNova, 114 Finchley Lane, Hendon, London NW4 1DG, UK


Scientific names are changed for either scientific or nomenclatural reasons, and examples of both kinds of changes are provided. Proposals have been made to limit name changes for nomenclatural reasons through protected lists of names, to require the registration of newly published names, and to establish a MycoBank containing descriptions and illustrations, and assigning each new species with a unique reference number. Attention is drawn to impending name changes and uncertainty in species of Agaricus, Cantharellus, Coprinus, Ganoderma, Lentinula (Lentinus),Macrolepiota, and Pleurotus. Common errors made in the citation of authors of names are pointed out. There may be around 120,000 mushroom species still awaiting discovery and the allocation of scientific names, including many edible and medicinal mushrooms already being exploited by local peoples. Internationally mandated bodies, such as the International Society for Mushroom Science (ISMS) and the International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi (ICTF), are encouraged to take more of a leadership role in encouraging ways of reducing name changes and publicly explaining the reasons for those that should be adopted.

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