Taxonomic hierarchy in SDD

Tim Jones tim.jones at MARINE.CSIRO.AU
Tue Nov 27 14:28:54 CET 2001

I am not sure I follow here but I do agree it is definately wise to
understand the thoughts of a taxononomist <grin>...

I am not an expert in this area by any means but it it would seem to me that
whether you choose to accept or reject someones description and whether you
want to accept their taxonomic classification are two different things
(albeit closely related). Could it be that they should be modelled
seperately? That way it is possble to store a description without having to
adopt the classification structure in the data. Or is it that these two
concepts are just so tightly coupled that it is not needed?

Just a thought... not of a taxonomist


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Shattuck [mailto:Steve.Shattuck at CSIRO.AU]
Sent: Tuesday, 27 November 2001 2:08 PM
Subject: Re: Taxonomic hierarchy in SDD

If a dataset includes the descriptions of two families and 4 genera but
doesn't tell you which genera belong to which family you will be forced to
get this information from someplace else (e.g. ITIS).  If the dataset is
based on a different arrangement from ITIS you don't know this because the
dataset didn't tell you because it's not part of the standard. In this case
the data won't make sense because the family descriptions need to be a
superset of the genera which belong to them.  I think this is a pretty basic
problem if we want to support hierarchical data (taxa at different taxonomic

Again, if you don't want to follow the author of the dataset then you are
free to ignore the suggested classification - but I would strongly suggest
that you better know what the author is thinking and ignore all of her data
if you don't agree with it, not accept the descriptions while rejecting the


More information about the tdwg-content mailing list