ATBI? A reality any longer or just hype?

Peter Rauch peterr at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Thu Mar 8 20:00:30 CST 2001

Neal, Perhaps I don't understand the contrast you are making.

It seems to me that what you've described is a methodology that
has some efficiency for a locality (Hawaii) where most of the
biota (except for those major categories you named) was
known. So, looking to the literature and collections to
"list" the Hawaiin biota was "efficient".

How would that approach work for that large part of the world
where most species are not already known / collected /
identified /easily identifiable?

It seems that collecting would be one of the first chores to
attack, if indeed the purpose of the ATBI were to inventory all
the biota of an area.

What am I missing here?

On Thu, 8 Mar 2001, Neal Evenhuis wrote:
> It does things a little differently than what ATBI likes to do;
> Instead of going out first and collecting and then trying to figure
> out what we have collected and then gather up the literature (the
> ATBI method), HBS completes authority files for checklists of
> published species records based on the literature -- and then goes
> out to continually inventory the region (in our case, Hawaii) and
> continually update existing authority files and make them available
> to a wide audience (e.g., databases via the web) where we encourage
> updates and corrections to our databases.
> Yet, it's about 95%
> of the taxa occurring here that we have a handle on. I'd be
> interested to hear from anyone else out there who knows of a better
> total for an ATBI survey in a region as large as ours.
> Yes, staffing to do ATBIs will always be a problem. We at HBS try to
> obviate the problem of not enough specialists to ID what we collect
> by getting a handle on what has already been published first. That
> way, others have already done the work for us.
> It is virtually impossible to achieve an inventory of what IS out
> there at this time without doing the un-sexy groundwork of literature
> searching and ID verification first.
> Everyone likes to go out and collect and THEN go figure out what
> you've gotten. But it probably doesn't achieve the efficiency level
> required to show funding agencies actual products in a timely manner
> because the IDs take so long.

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