News from IAB

The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

BRYONET: local endemics


Hi Ken,
I certainly agree that most people have other interests than biological
systematics. This is quite OK with me, but this is also not my point.
Besides what Brent pointed out, I believe that most people are concerned
about what our (mostly small) budgets for biological conservation and
for research in biology in general is actually spent on. If conservation
money can be used to save the most relevant portion of biodiversity
rather than just any 'rat' that happens to be recognized as a rare
species I believe most members of the public, at least here in Europe,
would agree that this is both smart and a good way of using scarce
resources. I also believe researchers in ecology would be happy to know
that they work with the entities that are most relevant for the problems
they attempt to solve. Again, I have the feeling that people here
understand that a correct approach may lead to a better and more
cost-efficient long-term management of ecosystems.

It is not long ago when most conservation people refused to look outside
the national or even regional borders when targeting 'species' for
conservation, even if a certain 'rare species' was extremely common on
the other side of the border. I am sure most people, including farmers
and forestry companies, both understand and are are happy that many of
those interested in conservation nowadays understand that we need to
consider the global occurrences (and threats) of entities we want to
conserve. In the long run most people will understand that a sound
scientific basis is required to make people accept restrictions in their
actions or business.

What I want to say with this is that although most people couldn't care
less about how to define endangered 'species' or how to define'species',
quite a number of people may in the end care about the results of
discussions of the kind just now going on on Bryonet - and this without
even being aware of the existence of the topic.

Lars Hedenäs

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through Michigan Technological University
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