Scientific names for trees has changed. What about codes?

If you have questions, comments, and suggestions specific to one or more of the components of the i-Tree Software Suite, this is the place for them! Again, please check the i-Tree website and the FAQs before posting. Relevant topics include UFORE, STRATUM, and the utilities such as MCTI or Storm Damage Assessment Protocol.

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Scientific names for trees has changed. What about codes?

Post by leremita » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:46 pm

With the increase of DNA testing to better determine plant ancestry, species and genus names are changing faster. For instance Callistemon are now all lumped into Melaleuca. Tabebuia are now Handroanthus. Sometimes the USDA codes have changed and sometimes not.

My question is, should we create new species to enter, or just change the name, but keep the old iTree species code?
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Post by dellings » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:48 am

This is a somewhat problematic issue. i-Tree currently associates each tree with it's corresponding species via the species code. Because of this, species codes can not be easily changed. i-Tree v6 will alleviate this issue by assigning a unique identifier to each species/subgenus/genus/family/order/subclass/class/etc. Trees will then be associated with the corresponding species via the unique identifier. Because the identifier will be independent of the assigned species code, scientific name, and common name we'll finally be able to provide species updates without impacting existing projects.

In addition to being able to correct issues with an individual species, we'll be able to reassign and reorganize species as we see fit. The botanical naming system is very fluid system, and i-Tree is slowly evolving to deal with this fluidity.

At the moment, the only i-Tree application which allows users to define new species is i-Tree Streets. While you are free to define new species in i-Tree Streets as you see fit, please bear in mind that i-Tree v6 may require you to identify the corresponding species from our list or to select the matching genus or class.

- David
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