Makropodia

Crustacea

Research


Scientific activity is concentrated around the taxonomy and systematics of decapod crustaceans and its application for solving of oceanographic and zoogeographic problems. Also of importance is the study of constructional morphology as an aid to interprete characters used in classification.

For a long time it has been clear that the presence of different marine organisms and communities is correlated with the distribution of water bodies in oceans and seas. If the zoogeography of a given area is well known and based upon a good knowledge about the species therein, it is quite easy to detect changes in the faunistic composition and interpret those on the basis of our knowledge on the ecological preferences of individual organisms. Distribution patterns of large long lived animals correspond to the average conditions in the area and are not sensitive to small scale variability. It is important to state that well understood faunistics is a probe, which is independent of oceanographic and geological observations. The independent results obtained by this type of research are an important part in the description of a given area of the world ocean. They can help to confirm results of other disciplines or call attention to unsolved problems.

The same principles are valid also for the freshwater fauna, which is another speciality of the section. For this group however, zoogeography is important for solving paleogeographical problems, such as understanding the evolution of river and drainage systems with reference to the evolution of land masses and associated freshwater faunas. A close correlation with tertiary and quaternary geology is essential, as the results of paleontology and neontology have to be compatible. This again shows that the results have a significance beyond the taxonomy alone, and that they form a part of larger scientific endeavours.