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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.

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Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

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3 13 editions from 1735 to ,400 species of animals & 7,700 species of plants have been catalogued Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus

4 Catalogue of Life 2007 Annual Checklist 2007 Annual Checklist 1,008,965 accepted species 79,393 accepted infraspecific taxa 538,364 synonyms 414,075 common names 7 th edition 47 taxonomic databases over 3,000 taxonomists around the world a partnership between Species 2000 & ITIS

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11 CoL Management Classification ChiloBase Classification

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13 CoL Management Classification SysMyr Classification

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15 1. Taxonomic institutions world-wide e.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 databases e.g. Fauna Europaea, ERMS, Euro+Med PlantBase, ITIS N.America, Species 2000 China Node, Species 2000 New Zealand, Australia Node (APNI, ABIF, AFD), etc. Partners and contributors to the Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life

16 3. Specialist international networks e.g. FishBase; AlgaeBase; TicksBase; ILDIS LegumeWeb; AnnonBase; CIPA Sandflies, Paris; UNESCO Register of Marine Organisms. 4. The ‘Life Work’ of individual specialists e.g. TITAN-Cerambycidae (Tavakilian, Paris), Conifer Database (Farjon, London), Mite families (Moraes, Piricicaba), Ichneumonoidea (Yu, Canada) Partners and contributors to the Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life

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18 Major users of the Catalogue of Life 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 programmesClearing House Mechanism Global Taxonomy Initiative GSPC Target 1: Working List of Plants Biosafety Protocol Clearing House Global Invasive Species Programme CBOLBarcode of Life Programme uBio US Library Initiative Taxonomic Hierarchy & Checklist CRIA Brazil, Norwegian Nation System, BDWorld, SEEK….

19 Catalogue of Life on-line service and CD-ROM Array of source databases for different higher taxa Dynamic Checklist & Web-service Annual Checklist DB on the Web DB on CD-ROM

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22 So how has TDWG served Species 2000 and its community of taxonomic database suppliers? ……and indeed, how has this community responded to the provision by TDWG?

23 1985 – 1995 TDWG worked primarily on data content standards 1995 – 2002 TDWG was primarily a forum for discussing innovations in biodiversity informatics TDWG came back to standards, this time at the level of schemas, protocols and enabling technologies 1.The will of TDWG to create standards has fluctuated over these 11 years

24 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) 2. The early cohort of TDWG content standards were potentially extremely important.

25 1. TCS: Taxonomic Concept Schema 2. TDWG recommendations on LSIDs 3. TAPIR (We should thank Stan Blum and GBIF among others for stimulating this return to standards) 3. The shift to schemas and protocols at the informatics level has done much to widen the generality of solutions.

26 In 2005 we were implementing fully SPICE protocols that originated from a project started in 2000, and proposed in In 2007 we are STARTING to implement the TCS that was proposed 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. 4. We need to be realistic about the time-lags and life-cycles

27 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 poorly in our community 5. The weak take-up of generic softwares in the taxonomic database community

28 - we do need the informatics level standards - we do need the content 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. So what do we need?

29 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. Incipient standards within the Species 2000 community

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31 1. ‘Replicated names’ for species with infraspecies 2. Never delete a name 3. Binomial and uninomial synonymy 4. Status or concept references for synonyms Some examples

32 Lastly: Our ability to handle global biodiversity - depends wholly on synthesis, using distributed systems and interoperability - and thus on standards…

33 Example of Modelling October 2001 Model of Leucaena leucocephala - for exploring: - in which countries may further introductions be made? - has the species become invasive by adapting to new niches? - how will the distribution change under global warming scenarios?

34 I need to remind you that as well as being publicly funded……. ……………………. this is the work of a very large network of people…..

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36 Services: Species 2000 organisation ITIS organisation


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