Imprecise locality records

Steve at Steve at
Wed Aug 23 10:42:43 CDT 2000

Using locality coordinates to provide habitat details (as Doug seems to be
suggesting) sounds pretty error prone for any number of reasons (small-scale
spatial changes, habitat changes over time, errors in base mapping, the list
goes on and on).  I'm not sure it's generally possible (with obvious
exceptions such as well-known study sites) to go from lat-long to
habitat-soil-geology-etc.-etc. in any reliable and specific way, especially
if any period of time is involved (i.e. if old specimens are involved).
There is a limit to what museum specimens will tell us and I think we may be
pushing the limit on this one.  If you want details of the collecting site
and it's not in the field notebooks or on the specimens then you may well be
out of luck.

Steve Shattuck
(siting on half a million ant specimens collected over the past 100 years)

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