For this website to achieve its standardisation goal across all ATDN countries, teams and plots, it is necessary to set up a few simple rules.
1. Name registering and "ownership":
1.1. Any ATDN member can suggest new morphospecies names, as soon as she/he provides enough information to justify it (i.e. at least voucher references, and scanned images of the latter). For technical reasons, only the webmaster is allowed to add new names to the website's taxonomic list.
Once a name is registered, the user is considered as the "owner" of the newly registered name.
1.2. In order to prevent homonimy, before registering any new morphospecies name, a suffix will be added, consisting of a code referring to a country, a region, a team, an institution or a person, followed by the name of the author of the morphospecies.
→ Example 1: M.-F. Prévost and D. Sabatier created the name Aspidosperma sp.1 for a morphospecies of French Guiana, with a voucher deposited in CAY (Herbier IRD de Guyane, Cayenne, French Guiana).
This morphospecies has been registered under the name: Aspidosperma sp.1-CAY M.-F.Prévost & Sabatier
→ Example 2: While compiling all Myrtaceae specimens at CAY, Bruce Holst classified some of them under the provisional name Myrtaceae fg1 ("fg" stands for French Guiana).
The corresponding taxon was considered a morphospecies for GUYADIV and GUYAFOR, and has been registered under the name: Myrtaceae fg1 B.Holst
2. Accepted names
A given morphospecies should have only one accepted name. If it has other names, they are treated as synonyms of the accepted name.
3.1. If two morphospecies are found to be conspecific, one of the two names is retained as "accepted", whereas the other one becomes a synonym of the former. If both names have the same number of synonyms (or no synonyms at all), the "owners" of the two names should reach an agreement on which of the two names will be the accepted one, and which will become the synonym. If one of the two names has more synonyms than the other, it is retained as accepted, the other one becoming a synonym.
3.2. Any user can suggest that a morphospecies should be dropped in favor of a valid species. In order to be visible on the website, this proposal should be accepted by the "owner" of the morphospecies. The webmaster will add the valid species name to the website's taxonomic list, and the morphospecies name will be synonymised.
3.3. For technical reasons, only the webmaster is allowed to change a name's status from "accepted" to "synonym". He will carry on this operation only and exclusively at the request of the "owner" of the synonymised name.