Are higher taxa described earlier or later than expected by chance?

Roberts, David L., Marshall, Charles R. (2009) Are higher taxa described earlier or later than expected by chance? Systematics and Biodiversity, 7 (3). pp. 243-247. ISSN 14772000 (ISSN). (doi:10.1017/S1477200009990053) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1477200009990053

Abstract

The record of species descriptions within a taxonomic group represents the product of a sampling process. How useful such a record is in inferences about biodiversity and evolutionary patterns can depend on the nature of this sampling process. Here we describe a test for two potential biases: the novelty bias, the preferential description of species from higher taxa with relatively few previously described species; and the familiarity bias, the preferential description of species from already described higher taxa. At the heart of the test is the determination of whether the description of the higher taxa proceeded at a rate faster (the novelty bias) or slower (the familiarity bias) than expected by chance given the total number of species described for each higher taxon. Ambiguity may arise if there is uncertainty in the exact order in which new species and higher taxa were described. We apply the test to description records for eight groups of orchids. A novelty bias is detected in two to three cases and familiarity bias may be present in one case. The results are discussed in relation to perception of morphological complexity and the potential for human vision-based bias in biodiversity assessments. © The Natural History Museum 2009.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S1477200009990053
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: PY - 2009/// [EPrints field already has value set] AD - Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, 20 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] JA - Syst. Biodiversity [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Biodiversity, Date of description, Morphology, Orchidaceae, Rarefaction, Taxonomic sampling, Orchidaceae
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: David Roberts
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2014 15:33 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 10:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/33824 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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