[Taxacom] Costello on species again: new paper

Mark J. Costello markcost at gmail.com
Sat Jun 8 22:08:25 CDT 2013


Dear Jason
That is a valid point, and one we discussed in the paper. On the other hand,
we have a few modern tools that may increase efficiency. It would be
interesting to quantify the effort needed to collect and describe species
over the decades and see if it has increased or decreased; and perhaps it
would indicate how to further increase efficiency.
Thank you
Mark 
PS - I am happy to email pdf of paper m.costello at auckland.ac.nz.



-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
[mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of JF Mate
Sent: Sunday, 9 June 2013 12:52 a.m.
To: Taxacom
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Costello on species again: new paper

They seem to be taking a leaf out of ECON 101 and developing a taxonomic
GDP: GTP or Gross Taxonomic Product. It has worked really well for the
economy so I can imagine all the positive applications for science (akin to
Impact Factor) for tenure, funding, etc.

On a more serious note, I wonder if you can compare output across time the
way they seem to do. Without wanting to stir the proverbial bucket, maybe
taxonomists are (in general) just gathering more data for each description?
There is the issue of tidying-up previous work, incorporating phylogenetic
information into the descriptions (more data gathering plus analysis);
tracking down types, etc. One only needs to look at descriptions from the
60´s to see that you could have fit them in an A5 double spaced, often with
a single, rather crude illustration. Good luck getting that out nowadays
and not be laughed out ;)

Jason




On 8 June 2013 11:44, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:

> Costello, M.J.; Wilson, S.; Houlding, B. 2013: More taxonomists describing
> significantly fewer species per unit effort may indicate that most species
> have been discovered. Systematic biology, doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syt024
>
> This seems to be "all over the place" - as per usual ...
>
> Stephen
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