Taxonomic studies in India: Patterns, Processes, Causes and Consequences

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A detailed analysis of Pattern, Process, Cause and Consequence of Taxonomic Research on Batrachology in India.

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Taxonomic studies in India: Patterns, Processes, Causes and Consequences

  1. 1. Taxonomic Studies In Indian Batrachology: Batrachology: Patterns, Processes, Causes & Consequences Gururaja KV, Ph.D., Research Scientist, IISc, Bangalore gururajakv@gmail.com
  2. 2. Flow of the talk  Batrachology in India  Patterns ◦ Taxonomic descriptions over time, space, authors, etc.  Processes ◦ Processes behind such description  Causes ◦ Reasons for the spurt in discoveries  Consequences ◦ What next! ◦ Journey of an ecologist in Taxonomy!
  3. 3. Whom do you call amphibians?  Those vertebrates that live both in water as well as land  That means ...we too? Photo credit: http://divebarbados.net/Current%20Photos/Pictures/Green%20Turtle%201.jpg http://www.kidcyber.com.au/IMAGES/hippoaggro_s.jpg http://homepage.mac.com/wildlifeweb/reptile/gharial/gharial03tfk.jpg
  4. 4. In fact, amphibians are ...  Dual lifers ... ◦ Two stages in life – a tadpole stage and an adult stage ◦ From Greek, Amphi – dual, bian – life forms
  5. 5. What’s unique in them?  Generally, aquatic and terrestrial inhabitants, Some are arboreal, and some fussorial too
  6. 6. Metamorphosis They metamorphose from tadpole to adult Life span: from 10 months to 55 years
  7. 7. Ectotherms  Body temperature externally maintained Hiding away from Sun Basking in Sun
  8. 8. Skin breathers
  9. 9. Anamniotes Eggs of a bird Eggs of a frog
  10. 10. Evolution About 360 million years ago, late Devonian period Early amphibian!!! Triadobatrachus Beelzebufo ampinga
  11. 11. Systematics • Globally: 6638 species 3 orders – Apoda (183species) Caudata (597) Anura (5858) • India: 3 orders – Apoda (33) Caudata (1), Anura (274) caudata apoda anura
  12. 12. Batrachology in India  As of today 308 species, belonging to 14 families, 54 genera (4.64% of 6638 species in the world), 248 Species described from India (80.5%)  124 authors, single species description to as many as 43 species  Since 2000, 81 new species (33%) with 46 papers on Taxonomy and taxonomy related issues, 12 on ecology, 6 on reproduction, 10 on others  So Taxonomy ‘rules’ at present Indian Batrachology!!!
  13. 13. Research in Batrachology  Viviparity in caecilians Geneophis seshachari Gower et al., 2008. J Evol Biol. 21(5):1220-6
  14. 14. Other issues…  Frog skipping tadpole stage Gururaja and Ramachandra, 2006. Curr. Sci. 90(3):450-454
  15. 15. Other issues… Biju and Bossyut, 2003. Nature. 425: 711–714
  16. 16. India’s smallest frog Biju et al., 2007. Current Science 93(6): 854-858.
  17. 17. Skin extracts and pesticidal impacts… 1. Giri et al., 2006. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2006.06.011 2. Sai et al., 2001. doi:10.1074/jbc.M006615200 3. Gurushankara et al., 2007. doi:10.1007/s00244-006-0015-5
  18. 18. Conservation and Management Das, A., Krishnaswamy, J., Bawa, K. S., Kiran, M. C., Srinivas, V., Kumar, N. S., et al. 2006. Prioritization of conservation areas in the Western Ghats, India. Biological Conservation, 133, 16−31. Gururaja KV, Sameer Ali and Ramachandra TV. 2008. Influence of land-use changes in river basins on diversity and distribution of amphibians. In: Environment Education for Ecosystem Conservation
  19. 19. Patterns exhibited  Temporally 50 40 30 # Species 20 10 0 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 Year 350 300 # Cumulative Species 250 200 150 100 50 0 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 Year
  20. 20. Patterns exhibited … Spatially 53 150 141 125 New species discovered 100 75 141 53 50 29 25 11 5 6 0 1 1 1 0
  21. 21. Patterns exhibited  Spatially continued… 25 Western Ghats 160 Cumulative number of species 140 20 120 15 100 # Species 80 10 60 40 5 20 0 0 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 25 North-east hills 60 Cumulative number of species 50 20 40 15 # Species 30 10 20 5 10 0 0 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009
  22. 22. Family Genera Species Bufonidae 7 27 Dicroglossidae 12 58 Pattern exhibited … Hylidae Megophryidae Micrixalidae 1 4 1 1 16 11 Microhylidae 7 23 Nasikabatrachidae 1 1  Family/Genera/Species Nyctibatrachidae Ranidae 1 6 16 28 Ranixalidae 1 10 18 Fejervarya Rhacophoridae 8 83 16 14 Fejervarya Salamandridae 1 1 Caeciliidae 2 12 12 Ichthyophiidae 2 21 # species 10 8 6 18 Nyctibatrachus 4 16 Nyctibatrachus 2 14 0 12 1850 1870 1890 1910 1930 1950 1970 1990 2010 # species 10 8 50 6 Philautus Pseudophilautus 4 40 2 0 30 1850 1870 1890 1910 1930 1950 1970 1990 2010 # species 20 12 Gegeneophis 10 Gegeneophis 10 8 # species 0 6 1850 1870 1890 1910 1930 1950 1970 1990 2010 4 2 0 1850 1870 1890 1910 1930 1950 1970 1990 2010
  23. 23. Patterns exhibited …  Authors per species 7 6 # Authors/Species 5 4 3 2 1 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 Year
  24. 24. Patterns exhibited  Species per author (~ 2.5 per author, 124 authors) Boulenger 43.0 Gunther 19.0 Rao 18.0 Jerdon 15.0 Biju 26.0 Bossuyt 23.0 Annandale 11.0 Dubois 11.0 Pillai 12.0 Sen 17.0 Mathew 17.0 Anderson 7.0 Das 11.0 Stoliczka 6.0 Scheinder 5.0 Chanda 9.0 Blyth 5.0 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0 40.0 45.0 50.0
  25. 25. Patterns exhibited … Organization Specimens  Specimen deposited ZSI 109 BNHS 39 NHM, London 63 Outside India 60  Collaborators/Institutes involved in description are on rise
  26. 26. Processes  For temporal patterns ◦ Historical perspective (pre-independence, world war, post-independence) ◦ Authors ◦ Journals 350 300 # Cumulative Species 250 Annandale Biju 200 Günther Rao 150 Boulenger Bossuyt 100 50 0 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 Year
  27. 27. 25 Western Ghats 160 Cumulative number of species 140 20 120 15 100 Processes # Species 80 10 60 40 5 20 0 0 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009  For spatial patterns ◦ War was the key!! 25 North-east hills 60 Cumulative number of species 50 20 40 ◦ 15 Biogeography! # Species 30 10 20 5 10 ◦ Accessibility 0 1799 1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899 1909 1919 1929 1939 1949 1959 1969 1979 1989 1999 2009 0 ◦ Authors (work/origin): Biju, Rao, Pillai from South India; Das, Chanda, Mathews from North East/Kolkata
  28. 28. Processes  For Authors patterns ◦ Passion/inquisitiveness ◦ Advance in technology ◦ Collaboration ◦ Permission issues
  29. 29. Causes ◦ Global amphibian decline ◦ Paradigm shift from IAC ◦ Revision ◦ Mess ◦ Mudslinging ◦ Taxonomic nirvana ◦ Technological advancement
  30. 30. Consequences ◦ Newer perspective ◦ Better understanding ◦ Dynamic nature of taxonomy ◦ Network is the best way ahead
  31. 31. Journey of an ecologist in Taxonomy!
  32. 32. Meanwhile, N.hussaini became an invalid name
  33. 33. What was the reason?  No proper typification  No specimen deposition in a museum  No knowledge of ICZN Codes to the authors  To certain extent...”EGO”
  34. 34. What we did...?  Called up first author! ...  Joined hands with ZSI people, who happened collect one individual with permission from Kudremukh  They also contacted first author...No response  Took decision, after an year of communication with first author, to publish it with a new name....
  35. 35. So N. karnatakaensis...replaced karnatakaensis...replaced N.hussaini
  36. 36. Uproar among the seniors ...  Deniels wrote “Taxonomic Vandalism...” in current Science  But we responded in most polite way, though protested to the Editor of the Journal on using such words and in most scientific way lambasted “Vandalism”
  37. 37. To look further  Do not lose original tree for phylogentic tree  Integrate phylogenetics, acoustics, osteology, etc...to understand a species better  Make taxonomy a After Odem (1971) passion and not a profession...  Take it to simpler level ...Heisenberg’s Principle
  38. 38. Eight steps to Enlightenment and Taxonomic Nirvana – Evanhuis (2007)  enjoyment of nature  enjoyment of collecting  enjoyment of sorting  enjoyment of the discovery  enjoyment of researching taxonomic literature  enjoyment of describing  enjoyment of submitting your manuscript for publication.  enjoyment of educating others
  39. 39. There was a time, when taxonomist used to describe more than 5 species in a single paper Now we are in such a time, where 5 papers are written on a single species Do not get into the ‘RAT RACE’
  40. 40. Acknowledgements  www.wikipedia.org for photographs of Boulenger, Gunther, Jerdon and Annandale  Current Science for CRN Rao’s photograph
  41. 41. Advance wishes for SAVE THE FROG DAY (APRIL 30TH 2010) Thank you

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