[tdwg-content] Darwin Core terms sex and lifeStage with mixed content

Markus Döring m.doering at mac.com
Fri Feb 6 11:05:21 CET 2015

Right, Rich. 
And this is exactly the reason why they are grouped under Occurrence now.

To me the problem of having mixed values for sex and lifestage in a “lot” is pretty much the same as having different taxa in it.
And to avoid that mess we defined Organism, on which an occurrence is based, to be taxonomically homogeneous.

I dont think we want to do the same for sex, but the most elegant way of sharing this mixed information would be to share separate occurrence records, each being homogenous in their sex and lifestage.
This might not be feasable for some publishers, but if its possible I think thats the right way to go. If you want to break down counts to many dimensions you need to represent occurrences according to those dimensiions.


On 06 Feb 2015, at 03:57, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:

>> Does the term “sex” need to be constrained to the case of one individual only, and not include individuals?
> One thing to keep in mind:  sex is actually best not thought of as a property of an individual, but rather a property of an individual at a particular time (i.e., an Occurrence) (Note to Chuck: I know this isn't what you were suggesting, but your suggestion reminded me of it).  This is because many organisms change sex throughout their lifetimes.  So if pinning "sex" (and "lifestage") down to a particular individual (for which we have the new DwC class "Organism"), it should not be represented as a property of an individual/organism, but rather as a property of an individual/organism at a particular point in time (which we represent as Occurrences).
> This seems like a nit-pick, but if this conversation leads to changes in DwC, I think it's important that we not allow it to lead to a step backwards.
> Aloha,
> Rich
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