[Tdwg-guid] A Species as a concept represented by a class?

Pete DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Thu May 18 22:20:52 CEST 2006


I am new to these discussions so I am sorry if am not interpreting
things correctly.

I think of a species as a concept. The label for that concept changes when
the name changes but the idea that this is a species remains.

So if I want to represent the species Aedes triseriatus, I would mark
it up as a class.

Since I am focusing on species found in Wisconsin I might consider
having the Wisconsin Aedes triseriatus be a subclass of the North American
Subclass of Aedes triseriatus which is a subclass of all Aedes triseriatus.

If the label for Aedes triseriatus changes to Ochlerotatus triseriatus, the
species concept is still the same. What has changed is that others feel
that this species relationship to other species is different than what they
thougth previously.

In looking over these discussions it would seem that if species should
be represented as classes then lsid's should not be used to represent them.

It would be ok, however, to represent one individual Ochlerotatus
triseriatus using
an lsid.

This makes me wonder if the descriptors used for this species should
be represented as classes such as


Then you would be able to train a computer to assign a given image
to either the set of PalpiBanded or PalpiUnbanded.

It also makes me think that the best way to represent the Wisconsin
species is with a unique URL that includes metadata pointing to
the other representations of this concept at the uBioNamebank
NCBI etc.

A species concept url could be something like

www.ex.org/SpeciesConcepts/549173 -> points to RDF, Web, uBio, NCBI

A character concept url could be something like

www.ex.org/CharacterConcepts/2343234 <- PalpiBanded
www.ex.org/CharacterConcepts/2342945 <- PalliUnbanded

A given image might be marked up as an instance of PalpiBanded

This would allow a set of PalpiBanded images to be created and
accessed making imaged based computer identification easier.

So far I am thinking the following structure


/SpeciesConcepts/549173 <- use number since name changes? i.e. concept
of Aedes triseriatus

/CharacterConcepts/2343234 <- number? for a particular character state

/HabitatConcepts/Boreal_Forest  <- points to specific definition, examples

/BioticIndexConcepts/9  <- points to definition of a Biotic Index of 9, examples

Am I thinking this through correctly?

Thanks in Advance :-)

Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Email: pdevries at wisc.edu

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