[tdwg] How Species Concepts and Taxonomic Hypothesis are different as it relates to the Semantic Web

Peter DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 01:10:24 CET 2009

I started this note based on Rod Page's Blog thoughts on Wiki Modeling,
which got me thinking.

Also, if you go back to the 2006 tdwg list I tried to make this point
earlier, but did not seem to succeed
and that is why I ended up creating my own species concept identifiers.

The NCBI taxon id works in a way similar to the GeoSpecies ID's in that the
ID stays the same despite changes in nomenclature.

I would use this except that there is no NCBI ID for most species. There
needs to be a sequence for there to be an NCBI ID.

In this sense, the NCBI ID and GeoSpecies ID are compatible types of OTU's.

It seems that the genomics/proteomics people are already using forms of the
NCBI ID as Species identifiers (URI's)

For example, these are similar concepts, in that the meaning is similar and
they stay the same

despite changes in nomenclature. They are being used as Species Concept




These are names or taxonomic hypothesis:

http://lsid.tdwg.org/urn:lsid:ubio.org:namebank:2593981 <- name Aedes vexans
, taxonomic hierarchy (hypothesis), changes with changes in nomenclature

http://lsid.tdwg.org/urn:lsid:ubio.org:classificationbank:11149341 <-
taxonomic hierarchy (hypothesis)

http://lsid.tdwg.org/urn:lsid:ubio.org:classificationbank:2463176   <-
taxonomic hierarchy (hypothesis)

This gets into what makes a good species concept URI. (identifier)

The first set of identifiers can represent a Species Concept independent of
a particular taxonomic hypothesis

The second set of identifiers represent various taxonomic hypotheses, that
might apply to a specific species concept.

Was I able to clearly demonstrate the differences between these two type of

Under this model, the species hypothesis i.e. name is not the Species

Comments, suggestions and disagreements are welcome :-)

- Pete
Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
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