[Taxacom] Zootaxa Special Issue: Animal biodiversity

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sat Dec 24 20:02:05 CST 2011


Merry Christmas to you too, Geoff!
 
It is clear from context that Zhang's estimates are intended to be estimates of described valid species, i.e., excluding invalid synonyms
 
however, it is clear to me that the numbers given by Zhang and his other authors are not to be taken too literally, and vary in accuracy from group to group
 
nevertheless, the actual hard data used by Costello et al. was only a fraction of that contained in the Zootaxa special issue (i.e., that fraction which is currently in CoL), so although Zhang's data may not be perfect, it is certainly yields a much better estimate than that of Costello et al., and any problems in Zhang's data are also problems of Costello et al.'s data ...
 
Stephen


________________________________
From: Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
Sent: Sunday, 25 December 2011 2:40 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Zootaxa Special Issue: Animal biodiversity

"I know who I believe"

And what about synonyms?  Synonymy rates can be very high, but Zhang
doesn't discuss this confounding issue. His totals must allow to some
extent for synonyms for some groups since he sometimes uses Chapman (2009)
who does goes into that problem (unless he's just using bald totals from
Chapman, but I don't think he is). Nevertheless Zhang uses the word
'described' without qualifying what it might mean.
That, over time, taxonomists have duplicated effort around 20-40% of the
time, is not efficient - although each publication may add new
information.


Geoff

On Sun, December 25, 2011 10:34 am, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> it is interesting to compare the figures from the Zootaxa special issue
> with those of the recent paper by Costello et al.:
>  
> Costello et al. [quote]predict that there may be 1.8 to 2.0 million
> species on Earth[unquote]
>  
> Zhang (2011) claims [quote]For the kingdom Animalia, 1,552,319 species
> have been described in 40 phyla in a new evolutionary
> classification[unquote]
>  
> so Zhang claims 1.5 million *described* species, just in *Animalia*, cf.
> Costello et al. who claim 1.8-2 million *actual* species in *all kingdoms*
> (technically, Costello excludes fossils, while Zhang includes them, but
> Zhang couldn't get very good info on fossil species, so it makes not much
> difference)
>  
> I know who I believe ... though even Zhang's figures are still an
> underestimate (in Carabidae, for example, there appears to be nearly 1/3
> more described extant genera than claimed in the Zootaxa special issue),
> and many important groups weren't given a detailed treatment ...
>  
> Stephen
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: "Tony.Rees at csiro.au" <Tony.Rees at csiro.au>
> To: Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Sent: Saturday, 24 December 2011 8:16 PM
> Subject: [Taxacom] Zootaxa Special Issue: Animal biodiversity
>
> Dear Taxacomers,
>
> Just published in time for the end of 2011:
>
> Zootaxa Special Issue: Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level
> classification and survey of taxonomic richness - Edited by Zhi-Qiang
> Zhang
>
> http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/list/2011/3148.html
>
> Many useful overview papers therein - and all Open Access thanks to
> Zootaxa. (Congratulations for that).



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