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Neotropical Siluriformes as a Model for Insights on Determining Biodiversity of Animal Groups
July 15, 2015
11:16 am
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Open access in PLOS ONE - e0132913

Abstract

We performed an analysis of the descriptions of new species of Neotropical Siluriformes (catfishes) to estimate the number of new species that remain to be described for a complete knowledge on biodiversity of this order, to verify the effectiveness of taxonomic support, and to identify trends and present relevant information for future policies. We conducted a literature review of species descriptions between January 1990 and August 2014. The following metadata were recorded from each article: year of publication, number of species, journal and impact factor, family(s) of the described species, number of authors, age of the authors and coauthors, country of the first author’s institution and ecoregion of the type-locality. From accumulation of descriptions, we built an estimate model for number of species remaining to be described. We found 595 described species in 402 articles. The data demonstrated that there has been an increased understanding of the diversity of Siluriformes over the last 25 years in the Neotropical region, although 35% of the species still remain to be described. The model estimated that with the current trends and incentives, the biodiversity will be known in almost seven decades. We have reinforced the idea that greater joint efforts should be made by society and the scientific community to obtain this knowledge in a shorter period of time through enhanced programs for promoting science, training and the advancement of professionals before undiscovered species become extinct. The model built in this study can be used for similar estimates of other groups of animals.

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