The development of a geographic information systems based atlas of southern African freshwater fish, and its application to biogeographic analysis

Scott, Lucy Elizabeth Powell (2000) The development of a geographic information systems based atlas of southern African freshwater fish, and its application to biogeographic analysis. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) atlas of southern African freshwater fish was developed for the SADC countries from natural history collection specimens, hydrological, topographical and ~limatological data. The primary purpose of the development of the atlas of freshwater fish was the construction of a practical framework to transform vast amounts of existing biological data for use in research and management of aquatic resources. The database of freshwater fish collection specimens that was incorporated into the atlas, was developed in association with ALCOM (Aquatic Resources Management for Local Community Development Programme). The development of advanced computing and GIS technology has increased the scope of biological atlas projects by facilitating the integration of large amounts of spatial data to produce derived databases for specific applications. The atlas of freshwater fish was constructed using TNTmips GIS software as the most practical system available for managing and analysing biological data with a spatial component. The atlas contains 35 180 comprehensive distribution records of735 species offish. It has many applications as an inventory of ichthyofaunal spatial biodiversity, including those of conservation planning, environmental assessment and biogeographic research. Biogeographic studies have traditionally been subjective due to the logistical problems of working with large amounts of distribution data, although some small-scale quantitative research has been carried out in the past. The content of the atlas of freshwater fish is tested with respect to these previous studies, on known patterns of freshwater fish distributions, and the analytical capability of the atlas is tested and demonstrated with some new preliminary approaches to the analysis of freshwater fish distributions in southern Africa.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Freshwater fishes, Africa, Geographic information systems
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Fishes
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Ichthyology & Fisheries Science
ID Code:2461
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:08 Feb 2012 14:10
Last Modified:13 Jul 2012 07:10
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