Register of Antarctic Species (RAS) expands its content with traits

Added on 2020-05-28 08:40:24 by Vandepitte, Leen
From 25-28th November 2019, 12 thematic editors of the Register of Antarctic Species (RAS) and the Register of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS) met in Ostend to discuss the application of trait data in the Aphia platform in the context of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic region. A mixture of terrestrial and marine expertise was represented from various countries around the world. In addition, 2 experts provided input through remote participation.
Participants received training in the use of the WoRMS online editing tools and the Lifewatch Species Information Backbone, and how to add and validate information. There were discussions on the prioritization of traits, both in terms of those that should be added to the system as well as those that (thematic) editors should focus on adding.

Eight priority data types were determined based on the need for information, the availability of data and, finally, how well these concepts were advanced within the Species Information Backbone and the Aphia platform. These priority traits span a range of topics such as feeding & diet information, development, mobility and their importance to society, documented through Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem (VME) indicator taxa. In addition, efforts will be done to document the type locality of all RAS species, as well as making available an image of the holotype.

While many similar priority variables were identified between marine and terrestrial ecology, there are still considerable differences that need to be taken into account, especially in the used terminology and vocabulary. Given the complexity of the task, the current editor team will engage with the community to extend the current pool of thematic editors for all realms and taxa.

The organization of the workshop and the support of the Data Management Team (DMT) are supported by LifeWatch Belgium, part of the E-Science European LifeWatch Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research. LifeWatch is a distributed virtual laboratory, which is used for different aspects of biodiversity research. Within Lifewatch the SCAR Antarctic Biodiversity aims to develop a virtual Research Environment for studying Antarctic Bidiversty. The Species Information Backbone of LifeWatch aims at bringing together taxonomic and species-related data and at filling the gaps in our knowledge. In addition, it gives support to taxonomic & thematic experts by providing them logistic and financial support for meetings and workshops related to expanding the content and enhancing the quality of taxonomic databases.

Image: group picture of workshop
From left to right: Faradina Merican, Susanne Lockhart, Yi Ming Gan, Thomas Lanssens (DMT), Christian Yersabek, Lidia Lins Pereira, Gemma Elyse Collins, Leen Vandepitte (DMT), Anton Van de Putte, Bart Vanhoorne (DMT), Katrin Linse, Quentin Jossart, Julian Gutt, Stefano Schiaparelli, Wim Decock (DMT), Pete Convey


Register of Antarctic Species (RAS) expands its content with traits


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