Contributions to Zoology, 77 (2) - 2008Frederick R. Schram: Does biogeography have a future in a globalized world with globalized faunas?

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Conclusions

Does biogeography have a future in a globalized world with globalized faunas? Perhaps, but it is a limited one. Despite the globalization of world trade acting to homogenize the planet’s biota, there are, nevertheless, groups of organisms that are not yet globalized, and may never be globalized – marginal faunas from quite inaccessible environments. I have offered only a few select examples from one particular group of crustaceans, the syncarids, upon which the effects of globalization are still insignificant to non-existent. At least for the time being, it appears that habitats such as interstitial freshwaters, ground water, and caves can provide relatively untouched environments for study. Crustaceans are not the only groups that lend themselves to these efforts, see Boyer et al. (2007). Nevertheless, these efforts can only be undertaken if we can satisfy certain criteria. The taxa studied must: 1) be of a demonstrated ancient lineage, 2) be ecological generalists, 3) live in cryptic habitats, and 4) have limited abilities to disperse. Only under these conditions can the effects of globalization be circumvented and will the science of biogeography have a future.

Accepted: 15 December 2007

Received: 25 June 2008