Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants/Categorization

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WikiProject Plants

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Taxonomic categories[edit]

Non-monotypic taxa[edit]

Summary: categorize an article at the highest taxonomic rank which yields a "sensible" set of category sizes (say 10-100 entries).

In principle, an article is categorized under the appropriate taxon in its taxonomic hierarchy. Consider species Y z in family Xaceae in order Wales.

  • The article about species Y z is placed in "Category:Y", i.e. the category for its genus, using the wikitext [[Category:Y|z]] to ensure its correct alphabetic placement in the category under the specific epithet. "Category:Y" will itself be placed in "Category:Xaceae".
  • The article about genus Y is also placed in "Category:Y" using the wikitext [[Category:Y|]] to ensure that it comes first in the list of articles in the category.
  • The article about family Xaceae is placed in "Category:Xaceae", using the wikitext [[Category:Xaceae|]] to ensure that it comes first in the list of articles in the category. "Category:Xaceae" is itself placed in "Category:Wales".
  • Above the level of orders, the main APG clades are used, as in taxoboxes.

Thus the "ideal" categorization can be represented as in Figure 1.

Fig. 1 The ideal way that plant articles are categorized in the taxonomic hierarchy

However, this tidy system is actually rare. The problem is that categories should be of a reasonable size to make navigation easier for readers, i.e. requiring the minimum amount of searching in a list and clicking through multiple pages. Neither very large categories nor very small ones are desirable.

  • Categories which run over several screens (say more than 50-100 entries) should be split up (diffused); this may require the use of categories for minor taxonomic ranks, such as sections or subfamilies.
  • More commonly, small categories should be combined, so that, for example, species are categorized under the family or order or even a higher taxonomic rank.

Thus as of January 2014, the categorization shown in Figure 2 is used for the article Cabomba aquatica.

Fig. 2 Example of plant article categorization for small genera and families

Monotypic taxa[edit]

Summary: categorize as appropriate to the rank, including categorizing redirects.

When taxa are monotypic, a single article has to cover more than one rank. (Thus Amborella covers the family Amborellaceae, the genus Amborella and the species Amborella tricopoda.) There will be redirects from the ranks not used as the article title. Categorize each of the redirects and the article appropriately for its rank. Thus, among other categories:

Taxonomic rank categories[edit]

There is a separate, parallel categorization hierarchy for plant articles about particular ranks in the taxonomic hierarchy. As of January 2014 this system of categorization is much less complete than the main taxonomic category system for plants. In principle, there are three hierarchies – for genera, families and orders.

Consider the genus Y in the family Xaceae in the order Wales in the clade V. In the ideal system:

  • The article on genus Y is placed in "Category:Xaceae genera", which is itself placed in "Category:Wales genera" (and so on upwards). This is in addition to placing the article in "Category:Y" or other appropriately sized taxonomic category.
  • The article on family Xaceae is placed in "Category:Wales families", which is itself placed a category for the families of the appropriate higher clade.
  • The article on order Wales is placed in "Category:V orders", which is itself placed in a category for the orders of the appropriate higher taxon.

This produces the ideal categorization by rank shown in Figure 3.

Fig. 3 Ideal categorization of plant articles by rank

As with the main taxonomic categories, in practice this system has to be modified to ensure reasonable category sizes, so that, for example, an article on a genus may be placed in the category for the genera of its order rather than the genera of its family.

Since, for example, "Category:Xaceae genera" is a member of "Category:Xaceae", the two categorization systems (one by taxon and the other by taxon rank) interact. Figure 4 shows this for an idealized categorization. In actual use, most of the links will have been created already, since they connect categories, so all that an editor normally has to do is to categorize an article about a plant species, genus, family or order.

Fig. 4 Idealized interaction between the two systems of categorization

Historically recognized plant taxa[edit]

Articles about plant taxa not used in current classification systems should be placed in one of the categories of the "historically recognized plant taxa" hierarchy shown in the figure below. The term "historically recognized" is preferred to "obsolete".

Such articles, which do not have taxoboxes, should not be placed in a normal "parent taxa" category. Thus the article Celastraceae, about a family recognized in APG III, is categorized as Category:Rosid families. The article Parnassiaceae, a family sunk into Celastraceae in APG III, is categorized as Category:Historically recognized angiosperm families and not as a rosid family.

Fig. 5 Category hierarchy for historically recognized plant taxa; an arrow means "is a subcategory of"