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Type: Journal article
Title: Ecology needs a convention of nomenclature
Author: Herrando-Pérez, S.
Brook, B.
Bradshaw, C.
Citation: BioScience, 2014; 64(4):311-321
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0006-3568
Statement of
Salvador Herrando-Pérez, Barry W. Brook, and Corey J. A. Bradshaw
Abstract: Many areas of science have adopted nomenclature rules that facilitate research and communication. In contrast, ecological terminology is constantly redefined across disciplines, plagued with synonymy and polysemy, and foundational terms (and the theories and hypotheses behind them) are overlooked. We contend that this situation handicaps the progress of ecology. We review the causes and consequences of terminological uncertainty and propose a convention of ecological nomenclature (CEN) as an indispensable requirement of ecological synthesis. The core components of a CEN are its endorsement by a transnational institution; a policy framework managed by an advisory committee; and a centralized, peer-reviewed revision of terminology whereby ecologists are proponents and users of a unique, open-access repository of terms, definitions, and ontologies. A CEN should become the basis of a cross-disciplinary platform of communication among ecologists, journals, and the public and aligns with the ongoing initiative toward data globalization in ecology and other disciplines.
Rights: © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:
RMID: 0030015687
DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu013
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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