Trends and Developments in Biodiversity Informatics

Symposium: Key Innovations in Biodiversity Informatics

The BGBM Model: Modeling taxonomic concepts
W. G. Berendsohn, M. Doring, M. Geoffroy, K. Gluck, A. Guntsch, W.-H. Kusber, J.L. Li and F. Specht
Department of Biodiversity Informatics and Laboratories, Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Free University Berlin, Koenigin-Luise-Str. 6-8, D-14191 Berlin, Germany

The model arose from the need to handle not just names of taxa but taxonomic concepts. The term taxonomic concept denotes a set of "related" biological objects, formed according to the explicit or implicit views of a certain author or team. It thus represents a "subjective" view of a taxon. Each time a taxon name is used a taxonomic concept is involved. This has also been called "potential taxon" (BERENDSOHN, 1995), "taxon view" (ZHONG et al., 1996) or "taxonym" (KOPERSKI et al., 2000). The taxonomic concept is designated through the used taxon name in combination with the reference coining the concept.

The BGBM Taxonomic Information Model is based on the former IOPI Model and various later implementations of the basic principles laid out therein. It fully incorporates "potential taxa" as well as the full complexity of botanical names according to the rules of botanical nomenclature . The BGBM Model consists of three main parts:

The nomenclature, the reference and the taxonomic concept parts. The BGBM Model is extensible to fit the needs of particular projects.

Several projects at the Department of Biodiversity Informatics and Laboratories in Berlin are using or plan to use this model:
  • The AlgaTerra Information System with an extension for type information.
  • The Med-Checklist
  • The Dendroflora of El Salvador.
  • The IOPI Global Plant Checklist
  • The German GBIF-Node
  • The Euro+Med Plantbase
  • The MoReTax project

Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental

Global Biodiversity Information Facility, GBIF Sistema Integrado de Informação Taxonômica, ITIS*Brasil Species 2000 International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases, TDWG U.S. Geological Survey, USGS Petrobras Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Fapesp Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa, CNPq Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, MCT