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Across‐taxa incongruence in patterns of collecting bias

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If biological collections tend to be taken near accessible areas, and the number of such areas is limited, then we should expect a similar spatial distribution of collecting effort across taxa. Alternatively, if researchers working on a given taxon pick collection localities based on idiosyncratic criteria, then there should be no spatial similarity in collecting effort. This study compares the spatial distribution of collecting effort for plants and birds in Amazonia. Collection localities were transformed into a Thiessen network where polygon size works as a surrogate for collecting effort. A correlation between botanical and ornithological datasets, with an adjustment for spatial autocorrelation, showed little congruence in the spatial distribution of collecting effort between the two taxa. This incongruence of the distribution of collection effort among taxa suggests that the identification of priority areas for research, and correction for Wallacean and Linnean shortfalls based on taxon‐specific studies, should not be generalized.
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Document Type: Correspondence

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, C.P. 68020, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-590, Brazil 2: Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 7617, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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