South America

By Alex Calder
Alex Calder
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Re: Geographical regions.

Post by Alex Calder » Sat May 03, 2008 12:08 pm

Bas Pels wrote:As far as I'm aware of, West Africa has a similar kind of water - thus also the three kinds.

However, West Africa is new territory for the hobby, so perhaps you might want te leave this for much later
This is good to know, so while I may leave it along for now I have the information to revisit in the future.

(I changed the thread title to South America since that is the predominant subject and I have started a similar North America Thread.)

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: South America

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Sat May 03, 2008 1:49 pm

One of the factors that you have not looked at is the Geology, not just the Geography, of South America. Not only are the mountains a geographic feature, they are a major geological feature. The Guyana Shield is another such geological area that is not as obvious when one looks at the map, but is very important in species distribution and isolation. Most of the perimeter of this region has a sharp drop in altitude, resulting in heavy rapids and waterfalls - isolating factors - before it feeds the Orinoco to the North side of this plateau, and the Rio Negro to the south, as well as several smaller river systems, such as the Maroni, in the Guianas. Still, the region covers a large percentage of the continent, and has many unique species and genera well known to the hobby. Pushing that into an "Other" category is not a good idea.

Breaking down South America into regions is a daunting task, as there are many isolating factors. The main channel of the Amazon itself is just a mixing of many rivers from different geological regions being forced together by the rise of the Andes to flow Eastward, where most had previously flowed in the opposite direction. Several are major river systems in their own right, such as the Rio Negro, and have very different water chemistry. There are also some rivers that used to be part of a different system, but were forced in another direction by rising plates. Much as East African fauna are defined by the Great Rift, the continent of South America is the result of it's geological past (okay, that sounds kind of obvious, doesn't it?). You've already seen this in Rex's map of North/Central American distribution, a microcosm of geological cause and effect.

One of the early studies with MtDNA was used to support a geological basis for species distribution, looking at how various Cyprinodonts were distributed around the Caribbean basin (it tied into similar studies of Reptilian and Amphibian species). The real basis for distribution/isolation is geological, not geographic. I'm not sure if this is helpful or a complication, but it does have to be taken into consideration.
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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Re: South America

Post by Alex Calder » Sun May 04, 2008 2:03 am

Darrell,

I have a feeling you should provide Rex some feedback on North America over at CF.
I will be trying to talk him into taking a look at South America when he is happy with his NA results.

Alex

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Re: South America

Post by Dean Hougen » Mon May 26, 2008 9:54 pm

Alex,

I don't know anything about cichlids, South America, or computers, but I like to draw pretty pictures. Here is one I drew that you might like to look at.
SA_regions_map11_transparent_websize.png
Ichthyofaunal Regions of South America
Good luck with your project.

Dean
Chair, American Cichlid Association (ACA)
President, Oklahoma Aquarium Association (OKAA)

ACA 2012 Convention in Indianapolis, IN
http://www.aca2012indy.com

Bas Pels
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Re: South America

Post by Bas Pels » Tue May 27, 2008 1:51 am

Good as starter

Clearly, the most important riversystems have been pointed out from each other.

The only region I know a little about, is Uruguay, in the above map split in two, brown and orange, in the south of the orange part.

In my eyes, the fish fauna is not that dissimilar there. As a matter of fact, the Rio Santa Lucia goes right through the orange/brown border. I would suggest to make either the whole area brown, restricting the orange to, say, the "Geophagus" brasiliensis area (although a fish of htis group is fopunt in Uruguay :shock: ) or, perhaps better, accept the Rio Parana flows from tropical into subtropical - and thus create another new area

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Re: South America

Post by Alex Calder » Tue May 27, 2008 2:58 am

Dean,
With your permission I would like to share your depiction with the person who will soon take over breaking South America down into regions. I have scoured the Library of Congress web site for public domain images that provide geologic formations, however your map may get him started.

Bas,
I have requested my person try to keep the regions limited and on his initial survey he felt that we would be able to break it down to roughly 13. I would add that I have implemented additional tables and code in the application that allow for Continents and regions (in fact continents are live now). In addition I will be keeping the location field for further detail.

To whomever reads this,
In addition to figuring out the regions for the Cichlidbase we are going to work on a Google maps project in which we outline the regions. This overlay will be accessible to anyone for viewing though my personal goal will be to use the Google maps developer kit to embed an interactive map into the profiles. Eventually with enough time we will be able to add locations as well. I will inform you all when I am able to get that project off the ground so that those who are interested may check in on it.

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Re: South America

Post by Bas Pels » Tue May 27, 2008 9:05 am

As the bright green, and dark purple areas have no cichlids, you can combine them in a cichlid d base

Further, I'd be surpruised if the dark green and dark blue areas have any cichlids

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Re: South America

Post by Alex Calder » Tue May 27, 2008 2:30 pm

Bas,

I appreciate the feedback. I may ask about nixing the areas with no cichlids on the database side and keep them in the maps side.

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Re: South America

Post by Dean Hougen » Tue May 27, 2008 10:55 pm

Bas Pels, thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate anyone who can help me refine this map.

Regarding the Rio Santa Lucia, it has been a few years since I created the map, and I built it on top of a rather crude, public-domain, base map, so between my faulty memory and my starting point, I can't be sure exactly what I was thinking or drawing there. However, I believe I was trying to draw the boundary between the Rio Santa Lucia and the Rio Yi, such that the Rio Yi went in with the Rio Uruguay and Rio Paraná, whereas the Rio Santa Lucia went along with rivers such as the Rio Cebollati, Rio Tacuari, etc. If this division does not make sense from an ichthyofaunal perspective, I should change my map to reflect that. If this division does make sense from an ichthyofaunal perspective but I have just drawn my line a bit in the wrong place, I should change my map to reflect that instead. Suggestions?

Bas Pels, you are right about the Rio Paraná flowing from tropical to subtropical. It is likewise true that fish from the southern end of the Rio Paraná would have trouble if moved to the northern end and vice versa. But the problem is drawing the line in the middle somewhere. Genera and species go right across the Tropic of Capricorn with little respect for latitude. There is no cut off point. There is simply a cline. Of course, one can find species and genera that jump any of the boundaries I have drawn. However, the number that do not cross these boundaries is much, much higher than the number that do cross them, which is why they are somewhat useful. I don't think I could draw such a boundary between the northern and southern Paraná.

On a related note, there is a reason I chose various shades of yellow for the Amazonas, Orinoco, Guianan Shield, and even to some extent Paraná regions. These regions seem to me to have more in common in terms of ichthyofauna than do the others.

When it comes to cichlids in particular, though, it is definitely possible to group the dark blue, purple, and dark green regions as they have no cichlids. The light green should include Crenicichla scottii, I think.

Alex, you are welcome to show my map to whomever you like and I hope it is of use in the project. Anyone is free to use it directly for hobby publications or to use it as a source of info for a commercial venture (just as anyone can use any copyrighted source -- you cannot copyright information, just the presentation of it). Of course, if it is used directly in a "for profit" venture, we'll need to talk about payment but it doesn't sound like that is your plan.

I'm glad there is interest in it.

Dean
Chair, American Cichlid Association (ACA)
President, Oklahoma Aquarium Association (OKAA)

ACA 2012 Convention in Indianapolis, IN
http://www.aca2012indy.com

Bas Pels
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Re: South America

Post by Bas Pels » Wed May 28, 2008 2:04 am

Hi Dean,

The cichlid fauna in the rio Santa Lucia consists of
a Gymnogeophagus from the meriodonalis group (meriodonalis, rhabdotus and non described species)
a Gymnogephagus from the gymnogenys group sensu stricto (G gymnogenys, will be devided into more species)
Australoheros scitulum
some Crenicichla - can't help it, these don't bother me at all

Basically this will be found everywhere in Uruguay, apart from the far north west.
Australoheros my be facetum, or a new species, or more than one species
Gymnogeophagus labiatum can be added, or may replace gymnogenys

So, from a cichlid point of view, the Rio Santa Lucia might very well be populated through the Rio de la Plata - and thus be part of the Rio Uruguay/ Rio Parana system

regarding drawing a line through the Rio Parana system, you are, obviously, completely right. Most likely, if a deviding can be made, it will be one for catfish, another for cichlids, and another for lifebearers and so on :shock:

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Re: South America

Post by Alex Calder » Wed May 28, 2008 2:50 am

Here is a rough draft play around session with my mapping idea.
test map

The idea would be to provide a map with an outline for every region we choose to define.
Unfortunately I lost a rather large line due to my lack of experience with the system.
Either way one can see how something like this could be very informative.

In fact for a forum such as the one here it would be rather easy to make such a map with markers for where members have gone collecting, merely a thought. When I actually get closer to completing all of the maps I will do what I can to make them more easy for the public to find.

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Re: South America

Post by Bas Pels » Wed May 28, 2008 4:19 am

perhaps this clarifies what I think?
larger map.jpg
my suggestions

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Re: South America

Post by Dean Hougen » Wed May 28, 2008 10:02 pm

Bas Pels, thanks for the additional feedback!

Can anyone comment on non-cichlid fish fauna of that area?

Thanks again,
Dean
Chair, American Cichlid Association (ACA)
President, Oklahoma Aquarium Association (OKAA)

ACA 2012 Convention in Indianapolis, IN
http://www.aca2012indy.com

Alex Calder
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Re: South America

Post by Alex Calder » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:39 pm

I am rehashing this discussion in hopes that I can gain people's attention.

The next major project after the Cichlidbase is a mapping project.
My Goal is to be ale to tie these two publicly accessible tools together.
I am hesitant to get too technical however I shall anyways.

The mapping project will attempt to make a navigable world map of the family Cichlidae and it's distribution.
I am looking at using some rather difficult web technologies to accomplish this. The idea is that a user would
be able to use the program in a similar manner to Google maps only the focus would be cichlids. I have the technical
means and skills to pull of the project however I am but a babe in the woods when it comes to knowing Cichlids.
Please consider the value of such an application to the entire community(world wide). This is all about providing
information to the masses.

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Re: South America

Post by Felipe Cantera » Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:19 pm

I have one question, and I am sure that I have that question just because my english! (sorry!);
But, what happens when you find diff. species in the same river, depending if you are in the low, middle or upper level?
The cichlids from Rio Yi or Rio Negro in Uruguay (for example), there the sp. you find in the upper part of the river, are not in the middle part of it?
I must say "sorry" one more time....because maybe the question is not so important and thats not the point.....in that case.....just forget it!!

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Re: South America

Post by Bas Pels » Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:41 am

Hi Felipe

How are you?

I think your question is clear, no problems with the language, and a good one

However, I scrolled up, and saw the whole Amazon river system is considered as 1 area - although no fish is found everywhere

Therefore, I think Alex decided to ignore these - relatively small differences and decided to go for the big differences

Besides, where would you draw the line? Take as an example that the Rhineloricaria from the upper Yi will define the border between the upper and the lower Yi. However, itcould very well be that the Australoheros from the lower Yi just manages to get into a tiny bit of the upper Yi. I intend to say - definig borders through a river is nearly impossible, if you look at all species

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Re: South America

Post by Alex Calder » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:30 am

Felipe,
Your English is fine, much like Bas I understood you perfectly well.
The images in this thread are not the latest, however I am choosing to start with more broad areas.
As the application and the information available grows I can begin to fine tune the display, however
that will likely take years.

Bas,
In the newer maps, which I will add to the thread, geography is the major factor.
Once I have a basic set of areas I will look at distributions, chemistry and temperature to build
a better understanding.

I guess for now I am hoping that I can bounce maps off of everyone like I did before.

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Re: South America

Post by Felipe Cantera » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:30 am

Hi Alex and Bas!
Ok....NOW I understand!! :D

"However, I scrolled up, and saw the whole Amazon river system is considered as 1 area - although no fish is found everywhere
Therefore, I think Alex decided to ignore these - relatively small differences and decided to go for the big differences"

Ok!!, sounds like a very good idea...!!

"Besides, where would you draw the line? "
Thats exactly what I mean....impossible to tell!!

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Re: South America

Post by Alex Calder » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:07 pm

Keep in mind that I have complete and total control of the system and computer wise my resources are nearly limitless.
The current development team consists of myself and my "partner in crime" who happens to be a database guru.
So between the two of us anything can be accomplished provided we have data.

My current map work load has been to collect maps of different cichlids distributions which has been a major pain.

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Re: South America

Post by Felipe Cantera » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:35 pm

Ok!
If you need some help from here....just tell me!

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