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One Million Species in the Catalogue of Life – a triumph for Species 2000 and ITIS, or for TDWG standards?. Frank Bisby Executive Director: Species 2000 Species 2000 Secretariat University of Reading, UK www.sp2000.org. Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus. 13 editions from 1735 to 1770
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Executive Director: Species 2000Species 2000 Secretariat
University of Reading, UK
2007 Annual Checklist
47 taxonomic databases
over 3,000 taxonomists around the
a partnership between
Species 2000 & ITIS
1. Taxonomic institutions world-widee.g. MNHN Paris; NIES, Tsukuba, Japan; Zoological Inst., St. Petersburg Russia; RBG Sydney, Australia; Missouri Botanical Garden, USA; ITIS/Smithsonian Inst. USA; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, UK; Naturalis Museum, The Netherlands; The Natural History Museum, UK; CONABIO/ ITIS Mexico;2. Regional taxonomic databasese.g. Fauna Europaea, ERMS, Euro+Med PlantBase, ITIS N.America, Species 2000 China Node, Species 2000 New Zealand, Australia Node (APNI, ABIF, AFD), etc.
3. Specialist international networkse.g. FishBase; AlgaeBase; TicksBase; ILDIS LegumeWeb; AnnonBase;CIPA Sandflies, Paris; UNESCO Register of Marine Organisms.
4. The ‘Life Work’ of individual specialistse.g. TITAN-Cerambycidae (Tavakilian, Paris), Conifer Database (Farjon, London), Mite families (Moraes, Piricicaba), Ichneumonoidea (Yu, Canada)
Individual users on the Web (largest load from Google)Individual users of the 2,500 CDs (intended for developing countries)School Children (Jessica of Cape Cod)
GBIF data portal (provides the principal index)
Encyclopedia of L ife (invited to provide ‘Default Taxonomy’)
CBD programmes Clearing House Mechanism Global Taxonomy Initiative GSPC Target 1: Working List of Plants Biosafety Protocol Clearing House Global Invasive Species ProgrammeCBOL Barcode of Life Programme
uBio US Library Initiative Taxonomic Hierarchy & Checklist
CRIA Brazil, Norwegian Nation System, BDWorld, SEEK….
Dynamic Checklist & Web-service
Array of source databases for different higher taxa
DB on CD-ROM
DB on the Web
……and indeed, how has this community responded to the provision by TDWG?
1985 – 1995 TDWG worked primarily on data content standards1995 – 2002 TDWG was primarily a forum for discussing innovations in biodiversity informatics2002 - 2007 TDWG came back to standards, this time at the level of schemas, protocols and enabling technologies
1. Geographical areas standard (Brummitt & Hollis)
2. (Plant) Status standard (POSS) (IUCN)
3. (Herbarium) specimen record standard (HISPID)(Conn)
3. (Plant) Names in (botanical) databases (Bisby)
1. TCS: Taxonomic Concept Schema
2. TDWG recommendations on LSIDs
(We should thank Stan Blum and GBIF among others for stimulating this return to standards)
In 2005 we were implementing fully SPICE protocols that originated from a project started in 2000, and proposed in 1999.
In 2007 we are STARTING to implement the TCS that wasproposed at the Portuguese TDWG meeting.
It takes several years to agree a standard, it takes several years for a community to implement it, and maybe many years for legacy projects (the most valuable!) to complete the change.
But if you ask – did the taxon databases take up the early:TDWG content standards – the answer is mostly NO!
- individual ‘purposes’ for the databases
- individual views on how it should be done
- funding easier for innovations than doing the job.
And similarly – generic softwares have done poorlyin our community
- we do need the informatics level standards
- we do need thecontent standards as well
- but we also need some sustained work
- to sustain and intensify the TDWG standards role (possibly involving partnerships with ISO, IUCN etc.)
- to publicise and push the standards in a wider context
- to gain and give confidence that there is an effective standard way for many of these tasks to be done. - to be very clear about the life-cycle and adoption process.
1. Standard Species Checklist data set (for certain defined purposes)
2. A tailored configuration of TAPIR to provide the SPICE protocols needed to federate species checklists sectors.
3. A ‘best practice’ manual for managing species checklist databases.
1. ‘Replicated names’ for species with infraspecies
2. Never delete a name
3. Binomial and uninomial synonymy
4. Status or concept references for synonyms
Our ability to handle global biodiversity
- depends wholly on synthesis, using distributed systems and interoperability
- and thus on standards…
……………………. this is the work of a very large network of people…..