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Accuracy in the identification of orchids of the genus Angraecum by taxonomists and non-taxonomists

MacKay-Smith, Thomas H., Roberts, David L. (2019) Accuracy in the identification of orchids of the genus Angraecum by taxonomists and non-taxonomists. Kew Bulletin, 74 (27). pp. 1-8. ISSN 0075-5974. E-ISSN 1874-933X. (doi:10.1007/S12225-019-9813-6) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-019-9813-6

Abstract

Misidentification of taxa is understudied but has the potential to be a highly problematic issue. If misidentification is prevalent, there could be significant ramifications for work which relies upon a reliable taxonomic base, such as the description of new species, estimating the size of populations and species prioritisation. Here we used a match-mismatch experiment from psychology to determine the accuracy of species identification in 20 pairs of orchids (Angraecum spp. from Madagascar). The participants were split into specialist taxonomists and non-taxonomists. There was a 57.2% accuracy across all the participants. The specialist taxonomists had a high accuracy of 80.0%, with a sensitivity analysis producing an upper accuracy estimate of 90.7%. Non-taxonomists had a much lower accuracy of 55.9%. The results provide evidence of the need for specialist taxonomists, particularly in the case of identifying Malagasy orchids. Nevertheless, since misidentification is still prevalent for specialists, this is an issue that requires further research to understand how accurate identifications are made and also the implications of errors.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/S12225-019-9813-6
Uncontrolled keywords: citizen science, classification, expert judgement, Madagascar, misidentification, Orchidaceae, plant conservation
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Conservation Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biodiversity Management Group
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 07:07 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 08:58 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/75168 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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