J Syst Evol ›› 2020, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (4): 406-412.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12538

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Development trends in taxonomy, with special reference to fungi

Ke Wang1,2, Paul M. Kirk1,3, and Yi-Jian Yao1*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3DS, UK
  • Received:2019-03-27 Accepted:2019-08-21 Online:2019-08-26 Published:2020-07-01


Taxonomy is a traditional subject, but it still receives attention and has become a topic of much discussion in recent years. Many of these discussions have raised concerns about the future of taxonomy, especially with regard to the workforce responsible for the discovery of new species in the context of declining biodiversity. Previous discussions were based on the taxonomic data of plants and animals, but the status of fungal taxonomy has not been mentioned. Fungi have one of the highest levels of biodiversity among all living organisms, second only to insects. The discussion of the future of taxonomy without the inclusion of fungal data is incomplete. Here, we present the results of analyses based on all new fungal taxa published since 1753. Fungal taxonomy is an ever‐growing area of study with increasing numbers of new taxa being described and growing numbers of fungal taxonomists. Compared with plants and most animal groups, there has been a much sharper increase in the rate at which new fungal taxa are being described. Furthermore, the number of taxonomists studying fungi has increased at a faster speed than those studying plants or animals. This indicates that fungal taxonomy is a prosperous subject and a dynamic area for scientific studies, and that it deserves much more attention and support. The study of fungal taxonomy will deepen our understanding of the biodiversity of our planet.

Key words: fungal taxonomy, described species, species and author, output of taxonomist, quality of fungal taxonomic work