[tdwg-content] Fwd: [Fwd: Re: If you need something for referring to a population, then it is probably best to do it as a related class]

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Wed May 4 23:46:12 CEST 2011

Alas, I don't have time to dive-in to this conversation in full (I still owe
too many things to too many people), though I have been very tempted!

Very quickly:

> The model supports links to alternative concepts. The uniprot and bio2rdf,
and DBpedia 
> URI's can be considered closely related concepts.
> The way this works ideally is that the identifier of this insect (from
TDWG) makes the assertion that
> this
observation http://ocs.taxonconcept.org/ocs/0da685c9-9cdc-4dff-baf3-38d1bdbc
> represents an instance of this
concept http://lod.taxonconcept.org/ses/z9oqP#Species

But if I understand you correctly, alternate concepts don't exist within
taxonconcept.org; but only as links to other repositories of concepts, that
may or may not be congruent with those represented in taxonconcept.org.  If
that's the case, then what happens when the person who identifies the
doesn't agree with the concept represented in
[http://lod.taxonconcept.org/ses/z9oqP#Species] -- or any other concept
represented in taxonconcept.org?  Do they have to hunt around through the
other repositories to find the right one?

Let me give an example.  The type specimen of Centropyge fisheri  was
collected in Hawaii (e.g.,
http://pbs.bishopmuseum.org/images/JER/detail.asp?ID=-1377454029 ). The type
specimen of C. flavicauda  was collected in the South China Sea, and is
known throughout the rest of the tropical Pacific (e.g.,

Many taxonomists have treated these two species as distinct and valid; and
hence two separate taxon concepts representing populations in Hawaii, and in
the broader Pacific, respectively.  Other taxonomists have considered them
to be conspecific, and thus only one species throughout the tropical
Pacific, including Hawaii.  The name "fisheri" has priority, so the concept
labeled as "Centropyge fisheri, sensu stricto" refers to the species concept
consisting of individuals from Hawaii, and the concept labeled as
"Centropyge fisheri, sensu lato" refers to the species concept consisting of
individuals throughout the tropical Pacific (including Hawaii).

If I understand you correctly, there would be only one of these two concepts
represented in taxonconcept.org.  For the sake of argument, let's say it was
the sensu lato concept (which is the more modern interpretation, lumping the
two historically distinct species).  What if someone made an observation in
Johnston Atoll, and they are a splitter (i.e. recognizing Hawaii C. fisheri
as a distinct species from Pacific C. flavicauda), and wanted to identify
their specimen to the concept that *excludes* the Hawaii population (i.e.,
C. flavicauda)?  Would they be able to do so?  Or would they have to look
through uniprot and bio2rdf, DBpedia, etc. to find a species-level concept
that matches the one they want to represent the observation as?

Apologies if I have completely misunderstood this conversation...but at the
very least, perhaps a concrete example (with pictures!) might help to
disambiguate some of this thread.


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