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An overview of Brazilian mammalogy: trends, biases and future directions

DOI: 10.1590/S1984-46702009000100011

Keywords: biomes, meta-analysis, priorities, scientometrics.

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Abstract:

mammals are among the most charismatic and well-studied organisms, and brazil harbors the largest mammal diversity of the world. the brazilian society of mammalogy was established in 1985, and since 2001 it organizes the brazilian congress of mammalogy. we used the proceedings of all three editions of this congress together with papers indexed in web of science and scielo to evaluate trends in brazilian mammalogy. all contributions were categorized according to mammalian order, biome, topic of research and state of authors' affiliation. our results show that mammalian orders with higher species richness receive more attention, but the ranking is different between abstracts and papers. higher species richness did not translate into more attention for more speciose biomes, and again the ranking was different between papers and abstracts. there are research topics that receive much higher attention than others, and also other important ones, like taxonomy, that have been neglected. states with greater human populations produce both more papers and abstracts. we conclude that the higher number of publication in the atlantic forest is caused by the concentration of mammalogists in the south and southeastern regions of the country. contrary to what is normally believed, mammalian orders received attention according to their species richness, and not their charisma, probably because richer orders provide more study models. we suggest that additional funding mechanisms should be set in place in order to encourage more research on mammalian orders, topics, and states which have been neglected so far, in order to improve the knowledge on important brazilian mammal biodiversity.

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