We love encapsulating fancy terms and there is no shortage of those in biodiversity research (biodiversity alone is one!). DNA barcoding, a simple idea, since its proposal in 2003, has become a real hot one in biodiversity research. It has been a huge success as judged from its wide reception and rapid adoption in the international communities, the amount of funding going towards it and the recent development and application in large-scale environmental and biodiversity assessment research using the metabarcoding approach. Some have gone far enough to claim that the metabarcoding approach will eventually provide us with the ability to study the biodiversity of the entire ecosystem.
What is biodiversity, after all? I guess there is not a single answer, at least not a single standard. More than perhaps 100 articles have discussed this question and here I don't want to go into that.
All that is happening with DNA-based meta-scale approach to study biodiversity has prompted me to reconsider the place of taxonomy in biodiversity research and the way it is done and used. Without a doubt, taxonomy is still useful and vital. But it seems it will not escape the law of economics - not until taxonomists are able to out-compete (or collaborate with) their DNA-oriented biodiversity research colleague and provide a better, faster, easier tool, I am afraid the future of taxonomy is not bright. Perhaps the best scenario would be to establish collaboration between the two sides so that information about biodiversity (whether it being a DNA sequence, a specimen voucher, a picture, or an ecological note) can be associated with a name, without which knowledge cannot be communicated or transmitted.
Writings related to insects, biodiversity and science in general