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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 1063–1086 | Cite as

Analysis of the species description process for a little known invertebrate group: the limnoterrestrial tardigrades (Bilateria, Tardigrada)

  • Noemí Guil
  • Francisco J. Cabrero-Sañudo
Original Paper

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the entire species description process of limnoterrestrial tardigrades up until the present, and to establish the effects of several variables on this process. Information from monographs, revisions and published papers related to limnoterrestrial tardigrades was assessed using generalized linear models (GLM) and variance partition. Our findings reveal the tardigrade species description process fails to show an asymptotic tendency. That is, at the current description rate, we will not get to know all the species in the short- or mid-term. The variables examined served to explain about half of the process variance. Species distribution areas and variables related to their presence in each region were the factors found to have the greatest explanatory capacity. Our analysis indicates that insufficient efforts have been invested in the tardigrades compared to other invertebrates (such as Insecta: Coleoptera), and that there is a need for more taxonomists and more extensive sampling areas. Studies such as this will be useful for␣planning future species sampling campaigns, and help us to improve our methodological approach to␣investigations aimed at conservation and the preservation of biodiversity.

Keywords

Factors determining description process Limnoterrestrial Species description process Tardigrada 

Abbreviations

GLM

Generalized linear models

LR

Linear regression analysis

Pal

Palaearctic region

Afr

Afrotropical region

Ori

Oriental region

Aus

Australian region

Nea

Nearctic region

Neo

Neotropical region

Ant

Antarctic region

TAX

taxonomic variables

Class

categorical variables related to the species taxonomic class

DIST

distributional variables

NReg

continuous variables representing the number of biogeographic regions in which each species exists

LOC

a group of categorical variables related to location of each species

RegType

variable referred to the biogeographic region in which the species was described

ORIG

variable related to the biogeographic region of author’s place of origin.

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Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was made possible by a postdoctoral fellowship from the INECOL (Instituto de Ecología, A. C., Xalapa, Veracruz) awarded to FJCS, a pre-doctoral grant from the Comunidad de Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales de Madrid awarded to NG, and a Comunidad de Madrid project (number: 07M/0125/2000). We also thank Dr. Jorge M. Lobo, whose comments served to improve our paper, and Dr. Annie Machordom Barbé for further financial support.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museo Nacional de Ciencias NaturalesDpto Biodiversidad y Biología EvolutivaMadridSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Ecología, A.C. DptoBiodiversidad y Ecología Animal, Km 2,5Congregación El HayaMéxico
  3. 3.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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