Panbiogeography web page additions

John R. Grehan jrg13 at PSU.EDU
Tue Dec 18 16:34:34 CST 2001

Pacific additions

By incremental addition illustrations of tracks and baselines are starting to
take shape in the web page. Under the Pacific baseline I have illustrated
(in color)
the tracks of:
Heterochordeumatoidea  (millipeds),
Petaluridae (dragonflies),
Blennospermatinae (Angiosperms),
Triassic Sauropterygia,
Euphrasia (angiosperms),
Noctilionoidea (bats),
Stylidaceae (Angiosperms).

The Blennospermatinae and Stylidaceae examples also include phylogeny. If
anyone has corrections
to offer they will be welcome. And of course anyone with groups they would
be interested to see
illustrated please provide me with the publication information with
distributional/systematic data.
I will not be handling anything too complex at this time as my current
emphasis is on illustrative
examples and in the limited time I an focusing on the less ambiguous cases
(i.e. where main massings
or whole distribution is clearly associated with particular basins). More
complex situations can await the
future (unless those complex situations have been spatially and biological
worked out already).

These examples effectively represent the beginnings of a biodiversity atlas
where the spatial structure
of biodiversity is rendered in terms of clearly defined spatial hypotheses.
I intend to attempt securing
National Science Foundation Funding for a comprehensive web based atlas
perhaps focusing on trans-oceanic
patterns (i.e. generic or higher taxonomic units). I tried for several
years to establish a similar project for  New
Zealand, but the effort failed because panbiogeography opponents had a
virtual monopoly on the
review process and those opponents were determined not to let
panbiogeography receive research
support (overseas reviewers were in great favor, but their opinion carried
far less weight).

It seems to me that whatever one may think about the historical
implications promoted in panbiogeography,
it would be useful for systematists to have ready access to global patterns
of distribution with information on
their spatial relationships to provide both a comparative context and
geographic hypotheses to be evaluated.
At present this process is cumbersome because the literature is scattered
and is constantly being
revised. A web based atlas may overcome some of these constraints.

Any comments on this proposal will be welcome.

John Grehan
Frost Entomological Museum
Pennsylvania State University
Department of Entomology
501 ASI Building
University Park, PA 16802. USA.

Phone: (814) 863-2865
Fax: (814) 865-3048

Frost Museum

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