Trends in hydroidomedusan research from 1911 to 1997
Keywords:Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, history, bibliography
The papers on hydroidomedusae published from 1911 to 1997 total 10,934. They have been assigned to the following categories: faunistics and systematics; sub-organismal biology; ecology; evolution; life cycles; paleontology. The general trend, comprising all papers, can be divided into four time intervals: the first (1911-1939) with an average of sixty papers/year and with a slight decrease due to First World War; the second one (1940-1947), with an average of 38 papers/year, marked by a dramatic decrease coinciding with Second World War; the period 1948-1991 shows a steady increase until the mid-Seventies, when a small decrease occurred, followed by an increasing trend reaching its apex in the late Eighties-early Ninenties with a record of 296 papers in 1991 and with an average of 175 papers/year; the period 1992-1997, with an average of 178 papers/year, is marked by a sharp decrease, reaching the values of the mid Sixties. The most important category in terms of number of papers is sub-organismal biology, followed by faunistics and systematics. Systematic studies dictated the trend in the first decades of the century, whereas sub-organismal ones are prevalent from the Sixties onwards. Faunistic and systematic-taxonomic papers have a steady trend of production, with just a slight decrease over these last years. The formerly leading countries in systematics (UK, USA, France) are now almost inactive in this discipline, whereas countries with little or no tradition in this field (such as Spain) are taking the leadership.
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