Biogeography is the biological discipline that studies the geographic distribution of plant and animal taxa and their attributes in space and time. Nowadays, it is passing through a revolution concerning its foundations, basic concepts, and methods. As part of this revolution, biogeographers are increasingly recognizing the need of integration with other disciplines, in order to develop a truly interdisciplinary and pluralist science. The recent discipline of conservation biogeography shows clearly the possibilities of interdisciplinary collaboration. Additionally, during the last decades, there has been a considerable progress in the quantitative analysis of biogeographical patterns, with statistical multivariate and phylogenetic methods proposed to analyse particular ecological and biogeographical patterns and to establish meaningful comparisons.
The book written by Youhua Chen presents a thoughtful analysis of different biogeographical methods and their application to the analysis of biotic patterns in the Asia-Pacific region, which encompasses China, India and southeast Asia, and represents a very interesting region, which possesses an outstanding biodiversity. The analyses of different plant and animal taxa, using several biogeographical methods, led Youhua to identify clear patterns and to correlate them with climatic and biological data. Finally, he highlighted the relevance of these patterns for biodiversity conservation.
There are different reasons to read this book. Biogeographers will be interested in an outstanding region of the world, with specific chapters on birds and plants as case studies. Conservationists will appreciate the identified biogeographical patterns, which might help them establish conservation priorities. Ecologists will have a modern review of several methods used to analyse species-area relationships, species abundance and modelling species' potential distributions, among other patterns. Naturalists will be delighted with the rich biological information conveyed in the analyses. Students will learn about theoretical issues, and the case studies will surely make them think about biogeographic questions and how to answer them. I am sure that all of them will enjoy this very interesting book!
Juan J. Morrone
Museo de Zoología ‘Alfonso L. Herrera’
Departamento de Biología Evolutiva
Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
Apartado Postal 70-399, 04510 Mexico D.F., Mexico
In the past several decades, biodiversity conservation has gradually become a mainstream sub-discipline in contemporary biology. The importance of biodiversity conservation is straightforward for non-scientists to understand because in this post-industrialization and information-based era, people become more aware about the harmony between human being, society and nature. Biodiversity science is a leading multidisciplinary science in 21st century.
In tropical and temperate Asia, there are two BRICS countries: India and China, both are giant and developing countries. At the end of 2013, human population sizes of both countries rank at the top two across the nations of the whole world. Species extinction and biodiversity conservation in these areas is definitely challenging and urgent because of the expanding population, environmental pollution, rapid urbanization and industrialization.
In comparison to developed countries, biodiversity survey in most Asian countries seems not so comprehensive. New species are growingly discovered in the region, and the mega-biodiversity and original forests in the region provide invaluable resources for ecologists to explore biodiversity patterns over there. It is a great opportunity to present biodiversity and biogeography patterns at the region. My book can convey valuable information for researchers interested in the conservation issues of the Asian countries.
This book is dedicated to the quantitative analyses and systematic discussion of spatial biodiversity and biogeographic patterns in Asia-pacific region, including China, India and other south-eastern Asian countries. In the book, for the first part, the modern statistical and numerical methods have been introduced to the readers to tell them how to conduct spatial macro-biodiversity and biogeography analyses. These statistical methods have been widely used by researchers that are still active in the field of biodiversity and ecology. In second part of the book, different case studies over the region were provided, which covered very broad topics using many quantitative methods that have been introduced in the first part of the book, including phylogenetics, spatial statistics, multivariate statistics and others. As case studies, I provided detailed interpretation of the quantitative results and how these results are relevant to local and regional ecological processes. The book is suitable for anyone interested in biodiversity conservation to read. In particular, it is adequate for the undergraduate students that need a textbook to learn ecological methods and graduate students and scholars that need to know the recent advances in the field of biodiversity conservation, biogeography and macroecology.
The key features of my book are,
1. The book focuses on Asia-Pacific region, which is a very unique region and mega-biodiversity hotspot in the world. As far as I know, there is no book contributing to the biodiversity conservation knowledge over the region. Thus, my book is the first one that only focuses on biodiversity and biogeography in Asia-Pacific region systematically and comprehensively.
2. The book focuses on discussing the statistical methods on spatial biodiversity and biogeography patterns, thus may be of interests to academic researchers.
3. The statistical methods in my book cover a broad range and represent the most up-to-dated ones that are widely used in current biodiversity and macroecology studies, including spatial statistics, phylogenetic theory, neutral networks and ecological genomics.
The audience of the book includes university libraries, academic scholars and professors, graduate and undergraduate students.
Writing of the book has been generously supported by the China Scholarship Council. I am very grateful to Prof. Juan J. Morrone, one of the most eminent biogeographers, for kindly writing the foreword for my book and supporting my researches for a long time since we know each other. At last, this book is dedicated to my parents (Fashen Chen and Yuying Zhong) and my sisters (Ying, Fang and Yuan) for their love and support. Definitely, I can not complete this book without them behind my back.
This work is supported by the China Scholarship Council (No. 201308180004).
Conflict Of Interest
The author confirms that this eBook contents have no conflict of interest.
Department of Renewable Resources
University of Alberta
List of Contributors
Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta
University of Alberta