Subject: asymptote
From: Graham and Gill Harrington <>
Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 08:20:47 +1000
David - I haven't consulted a dictionary but my understanding of asymptote
does not completely agree with either of your suggestions.  It is the point
where an increase in anything slows and then flattens off.  Thus if you
record how many new bird species you see at a particular place when
atlassing you will often reach the effective asymptote around the half hour
mark i.e. you do not see many more after half an hour unless you go into a
new habitat.  I suppose this is technically a "peak" but a peak implies a
drop on the other side.  Reaching a maximum (number of species) is a better
concept for asymptote.  Graham

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