[Taxacom] Total number of name-bearing types

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Wed Jan 14 21:55:06 CST 2009

Dear all,

Actually I would appreciate some more background from David Remsen regarding the motivation for his original question - my feeling (which may be quite unwarranted of course) was that he was seeking an independent way to calculate known biodiversity to see if the often-quoted figure of 1.7-1.8 million described species stacks up - i.e., if the numbers of type specimens could be established from museum records or literature, then some reduction factor employed to account for multiple types and synonymized taxa, then you could see how close to the 1.7-1.8 million figure was the answer. What appears to be happening may not be contributing to this, as it is extrapolating the number of types from the estimated number of described taxa, therefore circular reasoning if my original assumption is correct - David, would you care to comment here?

Regards - Tony

From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman [kennethkinman at webtv.net]
Sent: Thursday, 15 January 2009 1:40 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Total number of name-bearing types

Dear All,
       I just realized I made a mathematical error in my last post.  At
1,700,00 accepted species times an estimated overall minimum ratio of
1.5, the minimum number of type specimens would actually be 2,550,000.
       In any case, I still suspect the number actually exceeds three
million.  But as I said, the most critical information is probably an
estimated ratio for angiosperms, because of the large number of species
(although an estimate for molluscs would also add to the precision any
          -------------Ken Kinman


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