Advancements in Invertebrate Taxonomy and Biodiversity

Advancements in Invertebrate Taxonomy and Biodiversity
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Advancements in Invertebrate Taxonomy and Biodiversity

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Publisher: Agrobios Publications
ISBN: 9788190430913
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PREFACE Erik Stokstad wrote in Science vol. 314, P. 745 3 Nov. 2006 Environmental groups often argue that biodiversity offers tangible benefits to people. Now, a group of ecologists has put that argument to the test with the most comprehensive look yet at the human impact of declining marine biodiversity. On page 787 Science vol. 314 3 Nov. 2006 , they report that the loss of ocean populations and species has been accompanied by plummeting catches of wild fish, declines in water quality, and other costly losses. They even project that all commercial fish and seafood species will collapse by 2048. It s a gloomy picture, says lead author Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Yet the team provides a glimmer of hope, concluding that people still have time to recoup these ecosystem benefits if they restore biodiversity. Although none of these points is new, some experts say the study strengthens the case for the practical value of biodiversity by marshaling multiple lines of evidence and taking a global look. This is a landmark paper, says Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University in Corvallis. Others aren t convinced yet. It falls short of demonstrating that biodiversity losses are the primary drivers of why the services have declined, says Donald Boesch of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Cambridge. Past studies of so-called ecosystem services have demonstrated, for example, that a rich array of pollinators creates greater yields for coffee farmers Science, 20 August 2004, p. 1100 . But proving that such benefits exist on a global scale has been difficult, particularly for all types of ecospheres which are yet to be properly studied. Inevitably, each person has particular aptitude dealing with certain kinds of data which, in a total evidence framework, are all pertinent to understanding relationships between taxa and their classification. But no one can do it alone. Accurate taxonomy is the foundation for comparative biology, biodiversity studies, and successful conservation and, to be completed quickly and robustly, will require international consortia of expertise Dawson, M. N. 2005. Renaissance taxonomy integrative evolutionary analyses in the classification of Scyphozoa. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K.85 733 739 . Justifiably or not, species as established in the current taxonomy are often used as units in biodiversity research and in conservation policy. Thus, investment towards a better resourced morphology-based taxonomy is urgently needed to implement a modern and integrated system to ensure that newly reported cryptic species will be described following their discovery Schlick-Steiner et al., 2007. Without morphology cryptic species stay in taxonomic crisis following discovery. Trends Ecol. Evol. 22 391-392 . Human activity has had a greater impact on biodiversity in the past 50 years than at any time in human history, and the rate of change is predicted to continue or to increase Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Ecosystems and Human Well-being Biodiversity Synthesis 2007. http www.millenniumassessment.org . Some of the key drivers affecting the loss of biodiversity worldwide are habitat alteration, climate change, overexploitation and invasive alien species. By improving the way we discover, document and measure biodiversity, we will move towards understanding the consequences of
changes in these drivers for biodiversity. For this to become a reality, biodiversity programs need to bring a spatial and temporal perspective to the forefront of their research agenda. Biologists need to dedicate more time to fieldwork and expand their intellectual confidence zone to better address temporal axes of diversification Beheregaray Caccone 2007. Cryptic biodiversity in a changing world. Journal of Biology 6 9 . Raczkowski Wenzel referred in December 2007 Biodiversity studies and their foundation in taxonomic scholarship. BioScience 57 11 978 that studies of biodiversity rely on lists of species found in various regions. Regional lists of species may differ, in part, because taxonomic effort is spread unevenly across regions and across individual researchers. Defining species remains a challenging task,