International Code of Area Nomenclature

Authors

  • Malte C. Ebach,

    Corresponding author
    1. International Institute for Species Exploration, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
      *Malte C. Ebach, International Institute for Species Exploration, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, PO Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, USA. E-mail: mcebach@gmail.com
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  • Juan J. Morrone,

    1. Museo de Zoología ‘Alfonso L. Herrera’, Departamento de Biología Evolutiva, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico D.F., México
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  • Lynne R. Parenti,

    1. Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA
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  • Ángel L. Viloria

    1. Centro de Ecología, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Caracas, Venezuela
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*Malte C. Ebach, International Institute for Species Exploration, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, PO Box 874501, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, USA. E-mail: mcebach@gmail.com

Abstract

Biogeography needs a standard, coherent nomenclature. Currently, in biogeography, the same name is used for different areas of biological endemism, and one area of endemism is known by more than one name, which leads to conflict and confusion. The name ‘Mediterranean’, for example, may mean different things to different people – all or part of the sea, or the land in and around it. This results in ambiguity concerning the meaning of names and, more importantly, may lead to conflicts between inferences based on different aspects of a given name. We propose the International Code of Area Nomenclature (ICAN), a naming system that can be used to classify newly coined or existing names based on a standard. When fully implemented, the ICAN will improve communication among biogeographers, systematists, ecologists and conservation biologists.

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