Collecting Strategies for Large and Taxonomically Challenging Taxa: Where Do We Go from Here, and How Often?
The major task of systematists is to document the planet’s biodiversity. This has traditionally been done using morphological characters, especially for inventory work involving the description of new taxa (species or genera) and the production of checklists and Floras. We present an analysis of collections from a well collected area on the highly biodiverse tropical island of New Guinea. The species accumulation curve for this area reveals different collection patterns between the type of collector and the type of habitat visited. Future surveys should be based on databases of large collections (or large samples of collections, such as geographic or systematic subsets) and should use a combination of generalist and specialist collectors in the field to produce a comprehensive and rigorous sampling strategy.