Analysis of the species description process for a little known invertebrate group: the limnoterrestrial tardigrades (Bilateria, Tardigrada)
edited by: David L. Hawksworth, Alan T. Bull
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.