[Taxacom] Biodiversity questions
kinman at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 2 19:34:18 CDT 2013
Well, comparing fish families with arthropod families (much less bacterial families) would indeed be largely meaningless (like comparing apples to oranges). However, within the limited context of fish families there would be more potential for meaning since families within a Class (or even Phylum) tend to be more comparable to one another. Otherwise, the Linnaean system of classification would have been abandoned long ago. It has always been a mistake to compare families of very different organisms, but unlike strict cladists, I do not see that as a reason to abandon Linnaean ranks. Even artifical constructs can serve a useful purpose if one doesn't take them out of a proper context.
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2013 19:55:46 -0400
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Biodiversity questions
From: bmoc at umich.edu
To: kinman at hotmail.com
CC: laith_jawad at hotmail.com; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
And of course, since families, as a ranked category in the Linnaean hierarchy, are totally artificial constructs (even if monophyletic), and don't reflect anything biological other than someone's hypothesis of relationships of the included taxa, these questions are really meaningless.
All the best! - Barry
On Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 7:08 PM, Ken Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com> wrote:
I suppose it depends in part how big an area one is looking at, and perhaps also whether it is an area of land (its lakes and rivers) or an area of ocean. And "what does it mean" questions can be rather nebulous and difficult to answer. Therefore, I would only offer some generalizations just to get the ball rolling.
In general, lots of families with lots of species indicates high biodiversity, and few families with only one or two species each indicates low biodiversity. Lots of families with only one or two species each would still indicate a high biodiversity to me, but obviously not as high as lots of families with lots of species.
Few families with lots of species each I might call species rich, but low biodiversity (but obviously not as low as few families with only one or two species each). Of course, a specialist in one of those few families might refer to that high species richness as high biodiversity, but I wouldn't. As for your third question, I'd have to think about that, but I would think such ratios would have a more useful meaning in some contexts, but little meaning in other contexts.
> From: laith_jawad at hotmail.com
> To: taxacom-request at mailman.nhm.ku.edu; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2013 17:12:29 +1300
> Subject: [Taxacom] Biodiversity questions
> Hi All
> I have three questions regarding fish biodiversity I hope I can find their answer with you.Q1. What does it mean if you have large or small number of families with only one or wo species in each of them? Q2. What does it mean if you have large number or small number of families with large number of species?
> Q3. In some biodiversity studies, people use the ration no. of species/no. families, no. of genera/no. of families. What does it mean if the ratio high or low? and when I should say it is high and when it is low?
> Are these changes have something to do with the evolution of the families in the area?
> Looking forward to hearing from you in the near future.
> RegardsLaith A. JawadAucklandNew Zealand
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Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.
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Barry M. OConnor
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