Database Model for Taxonomic and Observation Data

J. Lindström (Finland)


Biological databases, database modelling, taxonomy.


This article describes a comprehensive information model for the recording of taxonomic and observation data from literature, field collecting and other sources. The model is based on an approach using hierarchical decomposition of data areas into atomic data elements and abstraction into an entity relationship model. It encompasses taxa of all ranks, nothotaxa and hybrid formulae, unnamed taxa, cultivars, full synonymy, misapplied names, basionyms, nomenclatural data, and different taxonomic concepts as well as alternative taxonomies to any extent desired. It can help designers of biological information systems to avoid the widely made error of over-simplification of taxonomic data and the resulting loss in data accuracy and quality.

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