The XVIII International Botanical Congress held in Melbourne, Australia in July 2011 made a number of very significant changes in the rules governing what has long been termed botanical nomenclature, although always covering algae and fungi as well as green plants. This edition of the Code embodies these decisions, the first of which that must be noted is the change in its title. Since the VII International Botanical Congress in Stockholm in 1950, successive editions of the Code have been published as the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, commonly abbreviated as ICBN. In Melbourne, reflecting the view, particularly amongst mycologists, that the word “Botanical” was misleading and could imply that the Code covered only green plants and excluded fungi and diverse algal lineages, it was agreed that the name be changed to International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. In referring to the Code under its new title, we will use the abbreviation ICN.

The rules that govern the scientific naming of algae, fungi, and green plants are revised at Nomenclature Section meetings at successive International Botanical Congresses. As noted above, this edition of the Code embodies the decisions of the XVIII Congress in Melbourne in 2011. It supersedes the Vienna Code, published six years ago subsequent to the XVII International Botanical Congress in Vienna, Austria and like its immediate predecessors, it is written entirely in (British) English. The Vienna Code was translated into Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish; it is therefore anticipated that the Melbourne Code, too, will become available in several languages.

The Melbourne Code represents a much more substantial revision to the rules of nomenclature than has been the case with any other recent edition of the Code. This is not only due to the important changes accepted in Melbourne, but also because the Editorial Committee was instructed to re-organize the rules on valid publication of names in a more logical manner (see below), and took upon itself a more thorough examination of the overall clarity and consistency of the Code. However, despite this, the overall presentation and arrangement of the remaining text of the Melbourne Code remains broadly similar to that in the Vienna Code. A key is provided (pp. xxiii–xxviii) to the Articles, Notes, and Recommendations renumbered between the Vienna and Melbourne Codes.

More strikingly, it was agreed in Melbourne that the Appendices (other than App. I on the nomenclature of hybrids) need no longer be published along with the main text, and indeed may be published only electronically. Consequently this volume comprises only the main text of the Code, that is the Preamble, Division I Principles, Division II Rules and Recommendations, Division III Provisions for the Governance of the Code, Appendix I Names of Hybrids, the Glossary, the Index of scientific names, and the Subject index. A separate volume comprising Appendices II–VIII will be published later, both as a printed volume and electronically. Appendices II–VI will cover conserved and rejected names and suppressed works as in the Vienna Code, but App. VII and VIII are new and reflect a decision of the Melbourne Congress to include in Appendices the binding decisions under Art. 38.4 of this Code on whether or not to treat a name as validly published when it is doubtful whether a descriptive statement satisfies the requirement for a “description or diagnosis” and those under Art. 53.5 on whether or not to treat names as homonyms when it is doubtful whether they or their epithets are sufficiently alike to be confused.

In addition to the change in the title of the Code and the separation of the Appendices, there were five other major changes to the rules of nomenclature adopted in Melbourne: the acceptance of certain forms of electronic publication; the option of using English as an alternative to Latin for the descriptions or diagnoses of new taxa of non-fossil organisms; the requirement for registration as a prerequisite for valid publication of new names of fungi; the abolition of the provision for separate names for fungi with a pleomorphic life history; and the abandonment of the morphotaxon concept in the nomenclature of fossils.

The Nomenclature Section approved overwhelmingly the series of proposals prepared by the Special Committee on Electronic Publication set up by the Vienna Congress in 2005 (see Chapman & al. in Taxon 59: 1853–1862. 2010). This means that it is no longer necessary for new names of plants, fungi, and algae (and designations of types) to appear in printed matter in order to be effectively published. As an alternative, publication online in Portable Document Format (PDF) in a publication with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is permitted. The Special Committee had proposed 1 January 2013 as the starting date for the new rules (the beginning of the year following the expected publication of this edition of the Code), but the Section believed implementation so important that it decided to bring the date forward to 1 January 2012. As this was ahead of publication of the Code and because of the significance of the change, a paper reporting the details of the decision and incorporating a draft of the new rules was published in September 2011 almost simultaneously in 17 journals, and has been translated from English into eight languages (see e.g. Knapp & al. in Taxon 60: 1498–1501. 2011).

The provision for electronic publication by PDF in an online publication with an ISSN or ISBN is included in Art. 29, and the circumstances that do not constitute effective publication, both electronically and otherwise, are set out in Art. 30. In the case of electronic publication, these circumstances include the publication being a preliminary one, and any alterations made after effective publication. Article 31, dealing with the date of effective publication, includes matter peculiar to electronic publication. Recommendation 29A sets out a series of recommendations on best practice in electronic publishing, particularly with regard to long-term archiving, and 12 new Examples are provided in Art. 29–31 addressing a number of situations that arise with electronic publication.

The requirement that for valid publication of the name of a new taxon a Latin description or diagnosis be provided goes back to the Vienna Rules of 1906 (Briquet, Règles Int. Nomencl. Bot. 1906). It was not, however, a feature of the rival American Code of 1907 (Arthur & al. in Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 34: 167–178. 1907) and so, when the schism was healed in 1930 at the V International Botanical Congress in Cambridge, U.K., the effective date was moved forward to 1 January 1935. Names of algae and fossils were initially exempt from the requirement; for the former it was later required from 1 January 1958, whereas for the latter, the first language restriction came at the Tokyo Congress of 1993, which specified that from 1 January 1996, the description or diagnosis must be in either English or Latin. A proposal was made to the Nomenclature Section in Melbourne to extend this requirement for names of fossils to names of fungi, but the Section decided to apply this rule to all organisms under the jurisdiction of the ICN and also decided that, like the rules on electronic publication, this more permissive provision would become effective on 1 January 2012. The general provisions are in Art. 39 (names in all groups being covered by Art. 39.2), whereas the special provisions for names of fossils are in Art. 43.1 and those of algae in Art. 44.1.

Since 2004, the online database MycoBank (http://www.mycobank.org/) has become increasingly used by mycologists to register new fungal names and associated data, such as descriptions and illustrations. Upon registration, MycoBank issues a unique number, which can be cited in the publication where the name appears. This number is also used by the nomenclatural database Index Fungorum (http://www.indexfungorum.org/) and serves as a Life Science Identifier (LSID). Many journals, including Taxon, already require inclusion of this identifier for acceptance of papers with nomenclatural novelties involving fungi. The Congress in Melbourne decided to make mandatory for valid publication of a new fungal name published on or after 1 January 2013 “the citation in the protologue of the identifier issued by a recognized repository for the name” (see Art. 42). This rule applies to names of new taxa, new combinations, names at new ranks, and replacement names.

Since the Brussels Congress in 1910, there has been provision for a separate name (or names) for the asexual (anamorph) state (or states) of fungi with a pleomorphic life cycle from that applicable to the sexual (teleomorph) state and to the whole fungus. The Brussels Rules (Briquet, Règles Int. Nomencl. Bot., ed. 2. 1912) specified that names given to states other than the sexual one (the “perfect state”) “have only a temporary value”, apparently anticipating a time when they would no longer be needed. At the Melbourne Congress, it was decided that this time had come – but not through disuse as may have been envisaged in Brussels. Throughout the various changes since 1912 to the rules on names of fungi with a pleomorphic life cycle, one element has remained constant: the correct name for the taxon in all its morphs (the holomorph) was the earliest applicable to the sexual state (the teleomorph). In Melbourne, this restriction was overturned and it was decided that all legitimate fungal names were to be treated equally for the purposes of establishing priority, regardless of the life history stage of the type. As a consequence the Melbourne Congress also approved additional special provisions for the conservation and rejection of fungal names to mitigate the nomenclatural disruption that would otherwise arise.

Article 59, which has dealt with names of pleomorphic fungi in all recent editions of the Code, is now limited to one paragraph establishing that names published prior to 1 January 2013 as applicable to one morph but including in the protologue a name (or names) applicable to a different morph are not made illegitimate on that account. There are also Notes clarifying the nomenclatural effect of all fungal names competing equally for priority. The main provisions adopted in Melbourne to minimize consequent nomenclatural disruption are to be found in Art. 14.13, by which lists of names may, after review by the appropriate committees, be conserved en bloc and included in Appendices to the Code. In addition, a new Art. 56.3 provides for similar lists of names to be rejected, while a new Art. 57.2 specifies that, where both kinds of names were widely used for a taxon, an anamorph-typified name that has priority is not to displace the teleomorph name(s) unless and until a formal conservation or rejection proposal has been submitted and rejected.

Since the Stockholm Code (Lanjouw & al. in Regnum Veg. 3. 1952) there have been special rules for names of fossils reflecting their frequent fragmentary occurrence. The details have changed over time, but, most recently, the Code has adopted the concept of “morphotaxa” that, for nomenclatural purposes, comprised only the one part, life-history stage, or preservational state represented by the corresponding nomenclatural type. The Nomenclature Section adopted a set of proposals (for details see Cleal & Thomas in Taxon 59: 261–268; 312–313. 2010) by which the concept of morphotaxa is abandoned, but with this the distinction is clarified between fossils, the physical objects that exist and to which the rules of nomenclature apply, and the organisms from which the fossils were derived but that no longer exist except as hypothetical reconstructions. As it is only the former that can generally be named, it was agreed that a morphotaxon concept was unnecessary, and in those cases in which two or more fossils can be shown to belong to the same organism, allowing their names to compete for priority in the usual way would not be destabilizing. Article 1.2 now defines what is meant by a fossil-taxon (rather than a morphotaxon) and Art. 11.1 establishes that the use of separate names is allowed for fossil-taxa that represent different parts, life-history stages, or preservational states of what may have been a single organismal taxon or even a single individual.

Other important changes to the rules were adopted in Melbourne, but these were of a more technical nature than the five outlined above all of which have broader implications for users of names of organisms covered by the ICN. Some of these more technical changes are described below.

Reference has been made to the restructuring of the section of the Code dealing with the requirements for valid publication of names. One of the major difficulties with this section in all recent editions of the Code was that the provisions for valid publication of names of new taxa and those for valid publication of renamings of existing taxa, i.e. new combinations, names at new ranks, and replacement names, were not clearly distinguished. In addition the placement of some matters such as misplaced ranks was rather illogical, and others, such as the provision for an illustration with analysis were to some degree duplicated. The new structure of this portion of the Code, now established as a separate chapter (V: “Valid Publication of Names”) is much more logical, and, although it may take some of us a little time to get used to different numberings for frequently cited clauses (e.g. Art. 38.1(a) instead of 32.1(d) for the requirement for a validating description or diagnosis), we are convinced that this chapter will now be much easier to understand and to apply.

The chapter is divided into four sections. Section 1, General Provisions (Art. 32–37), contains the rules applicable to all names, such as the requirement for effective publication, the form of the name, the determination of date, the requirement for acceptance by the publishing author and for clear indication of rank, and the provision for names not being validly published by suppression of the work in which they appear. Section 2, Names of new taxa (Art. 38–40), covers their particular requirements such as the need for a description or diagnosis, the language of that description or diagnosis, and the requirement for type designation. Section 3, New combinations, names at new ranks, replacement names (Art. 41), encompasses all the provisions relating to such names, including permissible ranks of a basionym or replaced synonym, and the requirements, varying over time, for reference to that basionym or replaced synonym. Section 4, Names in particular groups (Art. 42–45), incorporates those provisions that are only applicable to names of fungi (Art. 42), fossils (Art. 43), algae (Art. 44), and taxa originally assigned to groups not covered by this Code (Art. 45).

Despite the rather dramatic changes accepted in Melbourne that are described above, taken overall, the Melbourne Congress like most of its predecessors, was rather conservative in that less than a quarter (24%) of the published proposals were accepted. Nevertheless, a small number of significant changes incorporating many useful clarifications and improvements to the Code, both in wording and substance, were adopted. Here we only draw attention to changes of some note. A full report on the Section’s decisions has been published elsewhere (McNeill & al. in Taxon 60: 1507–1520. 2011).

Although not involving any change in the rules themselves, the Congress in Melbourne accepted a proposal for clear definition of the terms, “name of a new taxon”, “new combination”, and “replacement name” (Art. 6.9–6.11). This not only allows these concepts to be referred to more clearly throughout the Code and avoids cumbersome phrases such as “generic name with a basionym”, but also facilitates the separation of the different rules for valid publication of names of new taxa from those for new combinations, names at new ranks, and replacement names referred to above. As a by-product, two paragraphs of Art. 7 were transposed, that dealing with typification of a new combination or a name at new rank (now Art. 7.3) has been, more logically, placed ahead of that of a replacement name (now Art. 7.4).

The Melbourne Section accepted the term “replacement name” as the preferred term in the Code over “nomen novum” and “avowed substitute”, although use of the term nomen novum (or its abbreviation nom. nov.) is still recommended when publishing a replacement name (Rec. 32A.1).

The rules on typification of sanctioned names and of names in groups with a starting date later than 1753 are necessarily different from those for other names, but in changes to the Code over the years, such as the introduction of the definition of “original material”, this has not always been taken fully into account. The Congress in Melbourne clarified typification of both these groups of name. Article 7.8 now addresses specifically the typification of names in groups with a later starting date. The typification of sanctioned names, resolved as a result of an ad hoc committee meeting during the Nomenclature Section in Melbourne, requires slightly different rules for names of species and infraspecific taxa from those for names of genera and subdivisions of genera and are to be found in Art. 9.10 and Art. 10.2(b) (with 10.5), respectively. The circumstances under which a sanctioned name excludes the original type of the name are set out in Art. 48.3.

The terms “isolectotype”, “isoneotype”, and “isoepitype” do not apply to any element that has particular significance under the rules, and so have not hitherto appeared in the Code. Their meaning is self-evident and there are situations (including the Appendices to the Code) in which their adoption is useful. Moreover their absence from the Code has apparently prompted some to question the appropriateness of their use. As a result of a proposal accepted in Melbourne, their use is now included in Rec. 9C.

It has long been established that a name that was illegitimate when published remains illegitimate unless it is conserved. There are, however, a significant number of family names in current use that, when published, were formed from illegitimate generic names that have since been conserved. Although the rules are retroactive, the effect of the rules is not, so that, under previous editions of the Code, the subsequent conservation of the generic name did not make legitimate the family name formed from it; this was only possible by conservation of the family name itself. Amendments accepted in Melbourne and included in Art. 18.3 and 19.6 establish that the conservation of the generic name now also makes legitimate the name of a family and the names of subdivisions of a family formed from it.

Three small but important changes were made to the rules on conservation of names. Because only names at the ranks of species, genus and family may be conserved, a problem has recently been recognized in the case of conservation with a conserved type of a generic name or species name based on the name of a subdivision of a genus or of an infraspecific taxon, respectively. As the latter could not be conserved, it would necessarily retain the type determined by the other rules of the Code and not the conserved type with the potential of defeating the purpose of conservation (although this was ignored in the entries in the Appendices of previous editions of the Code). For example, Stipa viridula var. robusta Vasey retained its type (applicable to S. lobata Swallen), even although S. robusta Scribn. was conserved at the St Louis Congress with a different conserved type, and as a result Achnatherum robustum (Vasey) Barkworth, a combination in current use, retained the type of the varietal name and not the intended conserved type. This was resolved in Melbourne by the addition to Art. 14.1 of the sentence: “The name of a subdivision of a genus or of an infraspecific taxon may be conserved with a conserved type and listed in App. III and IV, respectively, when it is the basionym of a name of a genus or species that could not continue to be used in its current sense without conservation.” The Congress also made this provision apply retroactively for all such existing conserved names, so that, for example, S. viridula var. robusta is now conserved with the type that was conserved for S. robusta.

It has commonly been assumed that, just as the type of a conserved name is de facto conserved (by the application of Art. 14.8) regardless of whether the name is explicitly conserved with a conserved type, so also the spelling of a conserved name could not be altered. This has now been made explicit, also in Art. 14.8.

Whereas a name may be conserved to preserve its spelling and gender as well as its application, there has never been any provision to maintain its place and date of publication. As Art. 14 Note 1 put it, the Code did “not provide for conservation of a name against itself, i.e. against an isonym”. Although this has been maintained in general, a special exception has now been provided for the family names of bryophytes and spermatophytes included in App. IIB. Article 14.15 provides that the places of publication cited for those names are treated as correct in all circumstances and consequently are not to be changed (except by a new conservation proposal), even when otherwise such a name would not be validly published or when it is a later isonym.

Although the name of any subdivision of a family that includes the type of the family name must be based on the same generic name as that of the family (Art. 19.4), there are often circumstances in which the earliest name for a subdivision of a family is not the most familiar one, particularly when long-established families are united. This prompted the acceptance in Melbourne of the provision that appears in Art. 19.5 by which a name of any subdivision of a family formed from the same generic name as a conserved family name listed in App. IIB has precedence over names not so formed (unless Art. 19.4 applies).

The rules on attribution of a name to an author or authors rely heavily on the concept of ascription (Art. 46.3) (“the direct association of the name of a person or persons with a new name or description or diagnosis of a taxon”). However, although the authorship of a description or diagnosis is commonly unambiguous (being, for example, the author of the publication) it is uncommon for the author’s name to be directly associated with any single description or diagnosis. Accordingly it was agreed in Melbourne that Art. 46.2 be amended to add the words “or unequivocally associated with”.

Article 48 has long established that adopting an existing name but definitely excluding its “original” type, establishes a later homonym, but in practice this has had limited application because very few early names, at least of species and infraspecific taxa, have an original type. The Congress decided to make the rule more practical, by deleting “original” and defining exclusion of the type in a way analogous to that adopted for inclusion of a type in Art. 52 for superfluous names (see Art. 48.2 of this Code).

Among the more narrowly focussed changes incorporated in the Melbourne Code are the following: It is made clear that the Microsporidia, although phylogenetically related to the fungi, continue to fall under the provisions of the ICZN. Names above the rank of family, like family names, are treated as derived from the name of an included genus (and not from a family name). The terminations of automatically typified names above the rank of family are now all incorporated within Articles (Art. 16.3 and 17.1), whereas previously most were dealt with indirectly through a Recommendation. A provision has been included in Art. 56 to make it clearer that once the rejection of a name under that Article has been approved by the General Committee, rejection of the name is authorized in the same manner as is ruled for conserved names in Art. 14.16; in previous editions, this was only noted incidentally in Art. 14. It is also made clear (Art. 9.5) that reference to an entire gathering, or a part thereof, is considered citation of the included specimens.

The Glossary, a new feature in the Vienna Code, has retained its basic structure but has been revised and updated. New entries in the Glossary include: “author citation”, “binding decision”, “element”, “isoepitype”, “isolectotype”, “isoneotype”, “name of a new taxon”, “organism”, “suppressed works”, and “type designation”, while some existing entries have been substantially revised, e.g. “basionym”, and “confusingly similar names”; for others, such as “name at new rank (status novus)” and “replacement name (avowed substitute)”, the primary entry has been changed to reflect the preferred term in the Code. Five entries have been deleted (“exsiccata”, “form taxon”, “holomorph”, “morphotaxon”, and “plant”), reflecting the fact that these terms are no longer used in the Code (or not in any special way). This reflects the role of the Glossary which is strictly to explain terms used in the Code, and where possible to do so using the precise wording associated with these terms in the Code. The Glossary does not seek to cover all terms useful in the nomenclature of organisms falling under the Code; for that users can refer to a work such as Hawksworth, Terms used in Bionomenclature (2010; see http://bionomenclature-glossary.gbif.org/).

In recent editions of the Code the text has used three different sizes of type, the Recommendations and Notes being set in smaller type than the Articles, and the Examples and footnotes in smaller type than the Recommendations and Notes. These type sizes, which have been maintained in this edition, reflect the distinction between mandatory rules (Articles), complementary information or advice (Notes and Recommendations), and explanatory material (Examples and footnotes). The Melbourne Code has, however, attempted to make this distinction clearer by including the numbers of each paragraph of the Articles (and of those of the Preamble and Principles) in white within a black background, but not doing so for the paragraph numbers of the Recommendations. Notes, which explain something that may not at first be readily apparent but is covered explicitly or implicitly elsewhere in the Code, are appropriately identified with an “i” (for “information”) highlighted in the same way as the Article numbers. A Note has binding effect but, unlike an Article, does not introduce any new provision or concept. Examples are distinguished, in addition to the smaller font size, by being indented.

Most Examples in the Code have been provided by successive Editorial Committees, some on the basis of suggestions made at a Nomenclature Section, but the majority emanating from the work of the Editorial Committees themselves. A number of Examples, however, are not of this type. These are prefixed by an asterisk (*) in the Code and are termed “voted Examples”. They are Examples that were formally accepted by a Nomenclature Section of a Congress and contain material that is not fully, or not explicitly, covered in the rules. A voted Example is therefore comparable to a rule, as contrasted with other Examples provided by the Editorial Committee solely for illustrative purposes. In the Melbourne Code, the footnote (to Art. 7 Ex. 13) explaining the significance of the asterisk and the Glossary entry on “voted Example” have been elaborated to make the function of a voted Example clearer.

As in all recent editions, scientific names under the jurisdiction of the Code, irrespective of rank, are consistently printed in italic type. The Code sets no binding standard in this respect, as typography is a matter of editorial style and tradition, not of nomenclature. Nevertheless, editors and authors, in the interest of international uniformity, may wish to consider adhering to the practice exemplified by the Code, which has been well received in general and is followed in a number of botanical and mycological journals. To set off scientific names even better, the abandonment in the Code of italics for technical terms and other words in Latin, traditional but inconsistent in early editions, has been maintained.

Like its predecessors, this Editorial Committee has tried hard to achieve uniformity in bibliographic style and formal presentation. The titles of books in bibliographic citations are abbreviated in conformity with Taxonomic literature, ed. 2, by Stafleu & Cowan (in Regnum Veg. 94, 98, 105, 110, 112, 115, 116. 1976–1988; with Supplements 1–6 by Stafleu & Mennega in Regnum Veg. 125, 130, 132, 134, 135, 137. 1992–2000, and 7–8 by Dorr & Nicolson in Regnum Veg. 149, 150. 2008–2009), or by analogy, but with capital initial letters. For journal titles, the abbreviations follow BPH-2 by Bridson & al. (2004). In the editing of this edition, a more thorough review to ensure consistent usage in language and terminology has been undertaken. For example, whereas “specific rank” and “specific epithet” are used, the diverse use of “species name” and “specific name” has been standardised in favour of the former. Most of this work was accomplished by one of us (NJT), but we have been aided substantially by one member of the Editorial Committee (Werner Greuter) having occasion to review the wording of the Code in great detail and in so doing identified a number of other inconsistencies and possible ambiguities that have consequently been rectified.

Author citations of scientific names appearing in the Code are standardized in conformity with Authors of plant names, by Brummitt & Powell (1992), as mentioned in Rec. 46A Note 1; these are also adopted and updated by the International Plant Names Index, and may be accessed at http://www.ipni.org/ipni/authorsearchpage.do. One may note that the Code has no tradition of recording the ascription of names to pre-1753 authors by the validating author, although such “pre-ex” author citations are permitted (see Art. 46 Ex. 35).

The Melbourne Code was prepared according to the procedures outlined in Division III, which have been operating with hardly any change since the Paris Congress of 1954. Altogether, 338 numbered proposals to amend the Code were published in Taxon between February 2008 and December 2010. Their synopsis, with comments by the Rapporteurs, appeared in Taxon (60: 243–286) in February 2011 and served as the basis for the preliminary, non-binding mail vote by the members of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (and some other persons), as specified in Division III of the Code. Tabulation of the mail vote was handled at the Central Office of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy in Vienna by the then Managing Secretary of IAPT, Alessandra Ricciuti Lamonea, and her assistants. The results were made available to the members of the Nomenclature Section at the beginning of its meetings; they were also tabulated in the October 2011 issue of Taxon (60: 1507–1520), along with the actions taken by Congress.

The Nomenclature Section met in the Copland Theatre, Economics and Commerce Building, University of Melbourne (Parkville campus), Melbourne, Australia, from Monday, 18 July until Friday, 22 July. There were 204 registered members in attendance, carrying 396 institutional votes in addition to their personal votes, making a total of 600 possible votes. Although as in Vienna in 2005 this was a large attendance compared with many previous Congresses, it was substantially smaller than that at St. Louis in 1999, which had a record attendance (with 297 members carrying 494 institutional votes, making a total of 791 possible votes). The Section officers, previously appointed in conformity with Division III of the Code, were S. Knapp (President), B. J. Lepschi (Recorder), J. McNeill (Rapporteur-général), and N. J. Turland (Vice-Rapporteur). The Recorder was assisted by A. M. Monro. Each Nomenclature Section is entitled to define its own procedural rules within the limits set by the Code. As on previous occasions, at least a 60% assenting majority was required for any proposed change to the Code to be adopted. Proposals that received 75% or more “no” votes in the mail vote were ruled as rejected unless raised anew from the floor.

The Nomenclature Section also appointed the Editorial Committee for the Melbourne Code. As is traditional, only persons present at the Section meetings were invited to serve on that Committee, which as the Code requires is chaired by the Rapporteur-général and as is logical includes the Vice-Rapporteur as its secretary. The Nominating Committee of the Nomenclature Section in Melbourne decided to increase the size of the Editorial Committee from the usual 12 to 14 to provide for better international representation. The Committee convened on 5 December 2011 at the Natural History Museum, London, England, for a full week’s hard work. The Committee worked on the basis of a draft of the text of the main body of the Code, prepared by the Chairman to incorporate the changes decided by the Section, but also incorporating an initial draft re-organization of Art. 32–45 prepared by Werner Greuter. This draft of the new Code was distributed by e-mail shortly before the meeting; along with a preliminary version of the proceedings of the Section meetings, as transcribed by Pacific Transcription, Queensland, and edited by Anna Monro.

Each Editorial Committee has the task of addressing matters specifically referred to it, incorporating changes agreed by the Section, clarifying any ambiguous wording, ensuring consistency, and providing additional Examples for inclusion. The terms of the Committee’s mandate, as defined by the Section in Melbourne, included, in addition to the specific mandate to re-organize the section on valid publication, the usual empowerment to alter the wording, the Examples, or the location of Articles and Recommendations, in so far as the meaning was not affected; while retaining the present numbering in so far as possible.

The full Editorial Committee concentrated on the main body of the Code, including Appendix I (hybrids). A new electronic draft of these portions was completed following the Editorial Committee meeting, and provided to all members on 20 January for checking and for any further necessary clarification; as a result a revised draft was prepared and circulated to all members on 6 April. The implementation of the provisions on electronic publication on 1 January 2012 provided an opportunity to add clarifying examples on effective (and ineffective) electronic publication. The fortuitous attendance of five members of the Editorial Committee, including the Chairman and Secretary, at a meeting of the International Committee on Bionomenclature at the Berlin Botanic Garden from 26 to 28 April sponsored by International Union of Biological Sciences was particularly useful in finalizing this section of the Code. Subsequently a further, near-final, draft was circulated to the entire Committee on 6 June for further proofreading, followed by a final draft on 2 July for final proofreading. Several inconsistencies and a few errors were noted thereafter, and these were corrected during the subsequent formatting.

The Index of scientific names was revised by Franz Stadler and the Subject index by the Rapporteurs.

This is the proper place for us to thank all those who have contributed to the publication of the new Code: our fellow members of the Editorial Committee for their forbearance, helpfulness, and congeniality; Anna Monro, for making readily usable so promptly the raw transcription of the Nomenclature Section proceedings; all those who volunteered advice and suggestions, including relevant new Examples; the International Association for Plant Taxonomy and its successive Secretaries-General, Tod Stuessy and Karol Marhold, for maintaining IAPT’s traditional commitment to nomenclature by funding travel and some ancillary costs for the Editorial Committee meeting in London; and The Natural History Museum, London for facilitating that meeting by providing a meeting room and electronic access.

The ongoing implementation of the Code depends not only on those who have helped to make this new edition possible but also on the scores of members of the Permanent Nomenclature Committees that work continuously between Congresses, dealing principally with proposals for conservation or rejection of names, and also those who are members of Special Committees set up by the Nomenclature Section of the Congress to review and seek solutions to particular nomenclatural problems. The nomenclature of algae, fungi, and plants is remarkable for the large number of taxonomists who voluntarily work so effectively and so extensively to the immeasurable benefit of all those who use the names governed by this Code. On their behalf we express our sincere thanks to all who participate in this work.

The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants is published under the ultimate authority of the International Botanical Congresses. Provisions for the modification of the Code are detailed in Division III (p. 141). The next International Botanical Congress will be held in Shenzhen, China from 23 to 29 July 2017, with a Nomenclature Section meeting in the preceding week (18–22 July). Invitation for proposals to amend this Code and instructions on procedure and format will be published in Taxon early in 2014.

Like other international codes of nomenclature the ICN has no legal status and is dependent on the voluntary acceptance of its rules by authors, editors, and other users of names that it governs. We trust that this Melbourne Code will make their work just that little easier.

Edinburgh and Saint Louis, 30 September 2012

John McNeill

Nicholas J. Turland

^ to the top