[Taxacom] Pop article on taxonomy's decline

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Sun Jan 30 23:10:35 CST 2011


And the same for new extant fish genera (also includes new subgenera since the latter are also available genus-group names):

1991  34
1992  25
1993  31
1994  41
1995  16
1996  17
1997  22
1998  35
1999  25
2000  12
2001  31
2002  18
2003  18
2004  28
2005  21
2006  37
2007  36
2008  21 *
2009  7 *

(sorry, no figure for 2010 at this time)

Mean '90s: 27.3 new genera (and subgenera)/yr
Mean '00s: (2000-2007): 25.1 / yr, i.e. no real difference maybe??

(Data mainly from Eschmeyer, I may have misssed a few therein as well)

In any case I do not see any dramatic fall-off - maybe fewer taxonomists are being more productive, or the same number are being productive although some are retired and may stop soon, or ... ??

Regards - Tony
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Tony.Rees at csiro.au
> Sent: Monday, 31 January 2011 12:08 PM
> To: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz; TPape at snm.ku.dk;
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [ExternalEmail] Re: [Taxacom] Pop article on taxonomy's decline
> 
> Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> 
> > yes, but I thought the context of this thread (as the subject heading
> suggests) was about a possible
> > present decline in taxonomy? If so, then estimating the current rate of
> taxonomic activity from legacy
> > data doesn't really help! The question is has it slowed down in recent
> years?
> 
> Well, I'm first trying to establish a baseline here, from which one can
> potentially see whether more recent quoted rates of taxon descriptions
> look plausible or not.
> 
> I cannot provide independent numbers on new species descriptions, but can
> (to a degree) for new genera for some groups at this time (more to come).
> For example in vascular plants, excluding fossil ones, here are some
> possible numbers of interest:
> 
> Year  .. new genera described (excluding orchid and other hybrids, which
> otherwise distort the figures)
> 
> 1991      65
> 1992      60
> 1993      69
> 1994      65
> 1995      51
> 1996      49
> 1997      59
> 1998      72
> 1999      64
> 2000      69
> 2001      53
> 2002      32
> 2003      59
> 2004      55
> 2005      39
> 2006      67
> 2007      46
> 2008      27 *
> 2009      16 *
> 2010      14 *
> 
> These figures are estimates based on incomplete analysis because I have
> not finished working through all the available data, but will not be far
> off, except for the "recent data lag" which most likely influences the
> figures from 2008-2010 (marked *) to some extent, or maybe even for a year
> or two preceding as well. (I could do the same for some other key groups
> given a bit more time).
> 
> So, ignoring the 2008-2010 values maybe, the mean value through the '90s
> was a bit higher (61.5 new extant vascular plant genera/yr) than for the
> '00s (52.5)  - let the interpretations commence...
> 
> Regards - Tony
> 
> 





More information about the Taxacom mailing list