geographic information system (GIS)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Data from 3991 records of museum collections representing 421 species of plants, arthropods, amphibians, fish, and primates were analyzed with GIS to identify areas of high species diversity and endemism in Amazonia. Of the 472 1 × 1° grid cells in Amazonia, only nine cells are included in the highest species diversity category (43–67 total species) and nine in the highest endemic species diversity category (4–13 endemic species). Over one quarter of the grid cells have no museum records of any of the organisms in our study. Little correspondence exists between the centers of species diversity identified by our collections-based data and those areas recommended for conservation in an earlier qualitative study of Amazonian biodiversity. Museum collections can play a vital role in identifying species-rich areas for potential conservation in Amazonia, but a concerted and structured effort to increase the number and distribution of collections is needed to take maximum advantage of the information they contain.
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