|Revealing species communities in a spatial and temporal overlap|
Meerhaeghe, A.; De Cauwer, K.; Devolder, M.; Jans, S.; Scory, S. (2006). Revealing species communities in a spatial and temporal overlap. CM Documents - ICES, CM 2006(M:26). International Council for the Exploration of the Sea: Copenhagen. 7 pp.
Part of: ICES CM Documents - ICES. ICES: Copenhagen. ISSN 1015-4744, more
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Storing physical and chemical values, optical spectra and sediment granulometry is already a cumbersome task; dealing with biological data even falls into a different category. Biologists tend to focus their attention to species of their interest while other specimens in the same sample are often underestimated. Meanwhile taxonomists are continuously revising the taxonomy resulting in a complete new set of relations between these taxa. Keeping track with both and meanwhile having a dataset up to date seems endless. At the Belgian Marine Data Centre we tried to think outside the box and came up with a solution to content both biologists and data managers. The last thing we aimed at is to create another web index to refer species, therefore we hooked up with the existing web based referencing systems. The need to get data about different food webs in a spatial and temporal overlap is answered by our hierarchical storage of taxa which allows selecting a predator at species level and at the same time selecting different prey species at lower taxonomic levels. As these species, and also the scientists, usually are not confined into ‘latitude longitude squares’ we elaborated the spatial selection tool which defines user specific polygons to base the selection of data upon. We will briefly present the structure of our relational database but specific attention will go out to the taxonomic and spatial parts. Incentives and discomforts to organize the data in this way, and our current web interface, will be demonstrated.