Species description versus redescription rates: Are we getting wiser about biodiversity, more frivolous, or both?

Species description versus redescription rates: Are we getting wiser about biodiversity, more frivolous, or both?

An exit talk at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) on May 22, 2013. Event details at http://nescent.org/cal/calendar_detail.php?id=965

Ef10e56567f5d6e20bc3f7f4ab4e3254?s=128

Gaurav Vaidya

May 22, 2013
Tweet

Transcript

  1. Species description versus redescription rates Are we getting wiser about

    biodiversity, more frivolous, or both?
  2. None
  3. Species description

  4. Species description 1. A new species is identified.

  5. Species description 1. A new species is identified. 2. Then:

    formally described and named.
  6. Species description 1. A new species is identified. 2. Then:

    formally described and named. Most species have been discovered?
  7. How many bird species? Bebber et al, 2007: 99% of

    bird species described! Cumulative species count Year
  8. How many bird species? Bebber et al, 2007: 99% of

    bird species described! Cumulative species count Year
  9. How many bird species? Bebber et al, 2007: 99% of

    bird species described! Cumulative species count Year Branta hutchinsii Swainson & Richardson, 1831
  10. How many bird species? Bebber et al, 2007: 99% of

    bird species described! Cumulative species count Year Branta hutchinsii Swainson & Richardson, 1831
  11. Branta hutchinsii 1831 1800 1830 1860 1890 1920 1950 1980

    2010
  12. Branta hutchinsii 1831-1872 1800 1830 1860 1890 1920 1950 1980

    2010 Branta canadensis hutchinsii 1872
  13. Branta hutchinsii 1831-1872 1800 1830 1860 1890 1920 1950 1980

    2010 Branta canadensis hutchinsii 1872-2004 Branta hutchinsii 2004-?
  14. How many bird species? Bebber et al, 2007: 99% of

    bird species described! Cumulative species count Year Branta hutchinsii Swainson & Richardson, 1831
  15. How many bird species? Bebber et al, 2007: 99% of

    bird species described! Cumulative species count Year Branta hutchinsii Swainson & Richardson, 1831
  16. T axonomic effort Species description

  17. T axonomic effort Species description Species redescription

  18. T axonomic effort Species description Species redescription Split: one species

    to two or more
  19. T axonomic effort Species description Species redescription Split: one species

    to two or more Lump: two or more species to one
  20. Branta hutchinsii 1831-1872 1800 1830 1860 1890 1920 1950 1980

    2010 Branta canadensis hutchinsii 1872-2004 Branta hutchinsii 2004-? Lump Description Split
  21. Back to the question “Are we getting wiser about biodiversity,

    more frivolous, or both?” Wiser: fewer lumps and splits over time as taxonomic understanding stabilizes. More frivolous: a stable number of lumps and splits over time.
  22. AOU Checklist A list of species found in a particular

    region. Continually updated. Comprehensive for that region.
  23. AOU North American Checklist First published in 1886. 7 editions

    + 53 incremental updates (supplements) = 60 checklists Every 2.1 years!
  24. A lot of work 5,271 changes, additions and deletions: Splits/lumps:

    924 changes (17%)
  25. None
  26. Question Hypothesis: Are species description rates alone a good approximation

    for our knowledge of species diversity?
  27. AOU Checklist 1998: recognized 2,008 species. 2012: recognized 2,083 species.

    75 species “discovered” in 14 years!
  28. Not new descriptions! Centrocercus minimus J. R. Young et al,

    2000 Vermivora cyanoptera Olson & Reveal, 2009 Actually a nomenclatural change! Puffinus bryani Pyle, Welch & Fleischer, 2011
  29. Some new introductions 45 introduced species. 4 deleted species. 2

    newly described species. T otal: 43 explained out of 75 (57.3%) And the remaining 32 species? (42.7%)
  30. Splits and lumps Splits: 34 species split from others. Lumps:

    2 species lumped into others. Reinterpretation of species boundaries lead to +32 species: 43% of net species change, or 16x description rate!
  31. Redescriptions 0 10 20 30 40 1886 1895 1904 1913

    1922 1931 1940 1949 1958 1967 1976 1985 1994 2003 2012
  32. Net change Redescriptions -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10

    15 20 1886 1895 1904 1913 1922 1931 1940 1949 1958 1967 1976 1985 1994 2003 2012
  33. -3.75 0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15 2000 2002 2004 2006

    2008 2010 2012 Splits and lumps between 2000 and 2012 Splits: +34, Lumps: -2 Net change: +32 species
  34. Splits: +6, Lumps: -9 Net change: -3 species -3.75 0

    3.75 7.5 11.25 15 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 Splits and lumps between 1945 and 1956
  35. Manual process Change: split From: Branta canadensis T o: Branta

    canadensis, Branta hutchinsii Citation: Checklist of North American birds, 45th supplement (2004) Reasons: genetics, morphology, ecology, vocal, nesting habits
  36. Reason 1945-1956 (12 supplements) 1945-1956 (12 supplements) 1945-1956 (12 supplements)

    2000-2012 (12 supplements) 2000-2012 (12 supplements) 2000-2012 (12 supplements) Reason Total: 15 Splits: 6 Lumps: 9 Total: 62 Splits: 58 Lumps: 4 Reason Number Number Number Number Number Number No citation given 2 1 1 0 0 0 Not available online 8 (53%) 2 6 1 1 0 No reason given in citation 2 2 0 0 0 0 Morphological 4 3 1 43 (69%) 42 (72%) 1 Vocal 0 0 0 36 (58%) 34 (59%) 2 Genetic 0 0 0 30 (48%) 28 (48%) 2 Hybrid zones 3 2 1 14 11 3 (75%) Behavioral 0 0 0 12 12 0 Ecological 0 0 0 8 8 0 Others 1 1 0 7 6 1
  37. Reason 1945-1956 (12 supplements) 1945-1956 (12 supplements) 1945-1956 (12 supplements)

    2000-2012 (12 supplements) 2000-2012 (12 supplements) 2000-2012 (12 supplements) Reason Total: 15 Splits: 6 Lumps: 9 Total: 62 Splits: 58 Lumps: 4 Reason Number Number Number Number Number Number No citation given 2 1 1 0 0 0 Not available online 8 (53%) 2 6 1 1 0 No reason given in citation 2 2 0 0 0 0 Morphological 4 3 1 43 (69%) 42 (72%) 1 Vocal 0 0 0 36 (58%) 34 (59%) 2 Genetic 0 0 0 30 (48%) 28 (48%) 2 Hybrid zones 3 2 1 14 11 3 (75%) Behavioral 0 0 0 12 12 0 Ecological 0 0 0 8 8 0 Others 1 1 0 7 6 1
  38. This project’s future Finish measuring splits and lumps and validating

    Avibase’s data collection for the entire AOU series (1886 to 2012). 77 splits/lumps processed. 278 to go.
  39. Future directions Rate of splitting/lumping might depend on: Improved techniques,

    equipment and species definitions, leading to better criteria. The authors testing, validating and overturning taxonomic hypotheses. The time taken for new hypotheses to be recognized and accepted.
  40. Sharing is caring Change: split From: Branta canadensis T o:

    Branta canadensis, Branta hutchinsii Citation: Checklist of North American birds, 45th supplement (2004) Reasons: genetics, morphology, ecology, vocal, nesting habits
  41. None
  42. Are we getting wiser about biodiversity, more frivolous, or both?

  43. Images Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Small_Cackling_Goose_Brood.jpg The Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canada_Geese_at_Marymoor_Park.jpg Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/2336550258/in/photostream/ Screenshots:

    http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/04/10/sysbio.syt024.abstract http://zoobank.org Logos: http://wetlandscenter.fhsu.edu/biodiversity-on-the-web-cheyenne-bottoms-on- inaturalist-org/inaturalist-logo-full/ Cover of Checklist of North American birds from: http://www.aou.org/checklist/north/print.php Bebber et al, 2007: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/274/1618/1651/ F1.expansion.html
  44. References Bebber, D. P., Marriott, F. H. C., Gaston, K.

    J., Harris, S. A., and Scotland, R. W. 2007. Predicting unknown species numbers using discovery curves. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 274:1651-1658. Costello, M. J., May, R. M., and Stork, N. E. 2013a. Can we name earth's species before they go extinct? Science 339:413-416. Costello, M. J., Wilson, S., and Houlding, B. 2013b. More taxonomists describing significantly fewer species per unit effort may indicate that most species have been discovered. Systematic Biology. Coues, E. 1872. Key to North American birds. doi:10.5962/ bhl.title.38863
  45. Question time! Thank you!