Geography as quantification.
jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Tue Sep 28 23:46:19 CDT 1999
>Quite a bit of work by geographers and even biogeographers is still being
>done on the basis of convention geographic units - countries, islands, lakes,
>oceans, etc. That imposes restrictions, because of differing areas, on the
>analyses that can be made. An approach we have used on coral reef fishes, is
>to apply and equal-area grid. Here each cell in the grid is equal in area and
>no "corrections" need to be made for that factor.
In the panbiogeography book we identify grid analysis as a quantitative method
for lcating main massings, and we also acknowledge the suggestion by
McAllister et al (1986) that scoring values for quadrats on track paths could
allow tracks to be numerically identified and allow for statistical tests. This
is one area that may have great potential for quantification of geographic
characters in historical biogeography. The need at present is for people with
the appropriate skills to develop the techniques and applications. This might
help transform historical biogeography in a comparable way to the development
of cladistic techniques for biological characters.
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