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Correspondence
Published: 2020-01-31

The promise of next-generation taxonomy

Zoological Institute Technische Universität Braunschweig Mendelssohnstr. 4 38106 Braunschweig Germany
cybertaxonomy fast-track taxonomy species delimitation

Abstract

Documenting, naming and classifying the diversity of life on Earth provides baseline information on the biosphere, which is crucially important to understand and mitigate the global changes of the Anthropocene. We should meet three main challenges, using new technological developments without throwing the well-tried and successful foundations of Linnaean nomenclature overboard. 1. Fully embrace cybertaxonomy, machine learning and DNA taxonomy to ease, not burden the workflow of taxonomists. 2. Emphasize diagnosis over description, images over words. 3. Understand promises and pitfalls of omics approaches to avoid taxonomic inflation.

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