Acacia: The case against moving the type to Australia

Melissa Luckow*, Colin Hughes, Brian Schrire, Pieter Winter, Christopher Fagg, Renee Fortunato, Johan Hurter, Lourdes Rico, Frans J. Breteler, Anne Bruneau, Marta Caccavari, Lyn Craven, Mike Crisp, S. Alfonso Delgado, Sebsebe Demissew, Jeffrey J. Doyle, Rosaura Grether, Stephen Harris, Patrick S. Herendeen, Héctor M. HernándezAnn M. Hirsch, Richard Jobson, Bente B. Klitgaard, Jean Noël Labat, Mike Lock, Barbara MacKinder, Bernard Pfeil, Beryl B. Simpson, Gideon F. Smith, Mario Sousa S., Jonathan Timberlake, Jos G. Van Der Maesen, A. E. Van Wyk, Piet Vorster, Christopher K. Willis, Jan J. Wieringa, Martin F. Wojciechowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Recent studies have shown that Acacia is polyphyletic and must be split into five genera. Proposal 1584 would retypify Acacia: the type of the Australian taxon A. penninervis would be conserved over the current lectotype (A. scorpioides) of an African taxon. We disagree with the recommendation of the Spermatophyte Committee to endorse this proposal. Contrary to Article 14.12 of the ICBN, no detailed case against conservation was presented in Proposal 1584. We maintain that there are strong arguments against conservation, such as the large number of countries that would be affected, the economic importance of the extra-Australian species, and the economic burden placed on developing countries. Acceptance of this proposal would also violate the guidelines for conservation which clearly state that the principle of priority should prevail when conservation for one part of the world would create disadvantageous change in another part of the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-519
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Acacia
  • Conservation
  • Leguminosae
  • Nomenclature
  • Retypification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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