Using ConceptMapper to trace the evolution of taxonomic perspectives
Nico Franz, email@example.com, Xianhua Liu, firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert Peet, email@example.com, and Laura Downey, firstname.lastname@example.org. (1) University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez, Department of Biology, PO Box 9012, Mayaguez, PR, (2) Curriculum in Ecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, (3) LTER Network Office, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Taxonomic perspectives evolve over time, as the definitions for taxonomic names become partially redefined in light of new observations and character interpretations. Many taxonomic redefinitions require concomitant adjustments in naming, yet other changes in taxonomic perspective, such as the shifting of a non-type genus from one tribe to another, are not translated into nomenclatural changes. The need for finer semantic resolution arises in various situations, including the integration of data in large-scale, long-term biodiversity studies and the development and periodical updating of taxonomic databases. Taxonomic concepts, i.e. the meanings of names as they are specified in a particular source (example: Diaprepes abbreviatus [Linnaeus 1758] sec. Pierce 1916), offer such resolution by allowing experts to use a precise ontology-like vocabulary to describe differences in name definitions between different taxonomic treatments. This presentation introduces ConceptMapper, a software tool that assists taxonomists in the process of importing, visualizing, and correlating the meanings of taxonomic names in two separate classifications. The tool is built upon an XML schema (see http://tdwg.napier.ac.uk/) that manages scientific names, concept references, character and specimen circumscriptions, hierarchical parent-child relationships within one classification, and concept relationship assertions among two classifications. Several real-life examples will show that ConceptMapper is valuable to anyone who intends to understand the evolution of taxonomic names and their meanings in a purely systematic or applied biological context.
Species 1: Coleoptera Curculionidae Diaprepesabbreviatus (citrus root weevil)