Five-day meeting on the naming of plants, fungi and algae recorded for posterity

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The five-day discussions and decisions of the Nomenclature Section of the XVII International Botanical Congress took place in Vienna, Austria in July 2005. This meeting was held in association with the International Botanical Congress, which takes place every six years and is where the world’s premier experts on the rules for naming plants, fungi and algae get together to debate and update the rule book for naming the organisms they study.

The primary product of the meeting, theInternational Code of Botanical Nomenclature, or “Vienna Code”, was published in 2006. Another other important product is the official report for the historical record, which has just been published as an open-access forum paper in PhytoKeys.

The Nomenclature meeting in Vienna was attended by 198 delegates. This particular meeting was fairly conservative in comparison with those at some earlier International Botanical Congresses. Relatively few changes to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature were accepted, but a small number of significant changes and many useful clarifications and improvements were adopted.

Perhaps the most important decision regarded the publication status of theses submitted for a higher degree from 1953 onward. These would no longer be considered as effectively published for nomenclatural purposes unless a statement to that effect or other evidence was included. Three important sets of changes applying to the naming of fossils and fungi were also accepted.


The inclusion of a Glossary in the Code for the first time was a notable achievement. It was very closely linked to the wording of the Code, and only nomenclatural terms defined in the Code were included. The new Glossary was initiated by Paul C. Silva (1922-2014), a specialist in algae and long-serving member of the Editorial Committee of the Code.

The report was co-authored by: Christina Flann, Species 2000, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; John McNeill, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, UK, and Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; Fred R. Barrie, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA; Dan H. Nicolson, US National Herbarium, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA; David L. Hawksworth, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, The Natural History Museum, London, UK and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK; Nicholas J. Turland, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Germany; and Anna M. Monro, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Canberra, Australia. Production of the report was supported by funds from the International Association for Plant taxonomy (IAPT;, while its publication as an open-access forum paper was sponsored by Pensoft.

Original Source:

Flann C, McNeill J, Barrie FR, Nicolson DH, Hawksworth DL, Turland NJ, Monro AM (2015) Report on botanical nomenclature – Vienna 2005 XVII International Botanical Congress, Vienna: Nomenclature Section, 12-16 July 2005. PhytoKeys 45: 1-341. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.45.9138

No tags for this post.