Import taxon descriptions

Excel file imports can be used either for creating new nodes or for updating existing. Please see the Import content page for more general info.

To download the template file (for new data or for updating your data)

  1. Go to Import > Nodes > Excel file import
  2. Choose taxon description from the second drop-down menu
  3. Choose the template file you wish to work on (choose the first for creating new data or the second for changing or amending existing scratchpad data)
  4. Open the downloaded excel file in your computer and edit it

Complete the columns as follows:

  • GUID:

Use Global Unique Identifiers for each one of your taxon descriptions. These identifiers will not be visible to users. Use complex combinations like TH-SIB-2012-001

  • Taxonomic name (Name):

Use the taxonomic name from your taxonomies the description refers to. The permitted values of this filed are located in column B of the PermittedValues tab of your downloaded Excel file. This is a required field.

  • Taxonomic name (TID):

Instead of typing the taxonomic name the corresponding Term ID (TID) can be used to identify a term in one of the taxonomies. TIDs are visible under the taxon name in the edit view of taxonomies.

  • Taxonomic name (GUID):

Instead of typing the taxonomic name the corresponding GUID can be used to identify a term in one of the taxonomies. Taxonomic names’ GUIDs are visible under the taxon name in the edit view of taxonomies.

  • Map:

You can set the geographic distribution of a taxon using specific values in this field.

  1. To set distribution as predefined map polygon:
    1. Use the LAT/LONG set of coordinates of each of the points that constitute your polygon in WGS84. Separate LAT and LONG with a space and each set with a comma.
    2. Put your coordinates between the following strings POLYGON:POLYGON(( set of coordinates ))

For example to set a polygon distribution defined by the following points 27.42 44.65,17.66 39.36,20.30 36.80,24.25 34.45,27.33 36.31,29.79 37.85,27.42 44.65 you should put in the cell the following string POLYGON:POLYGON((27.42 44.65,17.66 39.36,20.30 36.80,24.25 34.45,27.33 36.31,29.79 37.85,27.42 44.65))

  1. To set distribution as geographical or administrative units:
    1. Use the REGION: prefix followed by the number of geographical unit according to TDWG controlled vocabulary on geographic regions
    2. To select a Level 1 region use the REGION: prefix followed by the number of continent (e.g. REGION:2)
    3. To select a Level 2 region use the REGION: prefix followed by the number of continent and number of sub-continent (e.g. REGION:1:13)
    4. To select a Level 3 region use the REGION: prefix followed by the three letter alphabetical code of the country or state (e.g. for Spain REGION:SPA)
    5. To select a Level 4 region use the REGION: prefix followed by the hyphenated
    6. To set multiple regions of distribution for a taxon you must separate each REGION:… with a line break in the cell. To enter line breaks use Alt+Enter.
  • Associations:

Descriptions and lists of taxa that interact with the subject taxon. Includes explicit reference to the kind of ecological interaction: Predator/prey; host/parasite, pollinators, symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism; hybridisation etc.

  • Behaviour:

Description of behaviour and behaviour patterns of an organism, including actions and reactions of organism in relation to its biotic and abiotic environment. Includes communication, perception, modes and mechanisms of locomotion, as well as long term strategies (except mating and reproductive strategies, covered under reproduction).

  • Biology:

. An account of the biology of the taxon. E.g. behavior, reproduction, dispersal

  • Conservation status:

A description of the likelihood of the species becoming extinct in the present day or in the near future. Population size is treated under Population Biology, and trends in population sizes are treated under Trends. However, this is the preferred element if an object includes all of these things and details about conservation listings.

  • Cyclicity:

Description of biorhythms, whether on the scale of seconds, hours, days, or seasons. Those states or conditions characterised by regular repetition in time. Could also cover phenomena such as chewing rates. Life cycles are treated in the Life Cycle term. Seasonal migration and reproduction are usually treated separately.

  • Cytology:

Cell biology: formation, structure, organelles, and function of cells.

  • Diagnostic description:

Lists the characters that distinguish this taxon from its closest relatives.

  • Diseases:

Description of diseases that the organism is subject to. Disease-causing organisms can also be listed under associations.

  • Dispersal:

Description of the methods, circumstances, and timing of dispersal.

  • Distribution:

Covers ranges, e.g., a global range, or a narrower one; may be biogeographical, political or other (e.g., managed areas like conservencies); endemism; native or exotic; ref Darwin Core Geospatial extension. Does not include altitudinal distribution.

  • Ecology:

An overview of ecological aspects of the taxon.

  • Evolution:

Description of the evolution of the taxon.

  • General description:

A comprehensive description of the characteristics of the taxon. To be used primarily when many of the subject categories are treated together in one object, but at length. Taxon biology is to be used if a brief summary.

  • Genetics:

Information on the genetics of the taxon, including karyotypes, barcoding status, whole genome sequencing status, ploidy.

  • Growth:

Description of growth rates, allometries, parameters known to be predictive, morphometrics. Can also include hypotheses of paedomorphy or neoteny, etc.

  • Habitat:

Includes realm (e.g Terrestrial etc) and climatic information (e.g Boreal); also includes requirements and tolerances; horizontal and vertical (altitudinal) distribution.

  • Legislation:

Legal regulations or statutes relating to the taxon.

  • Life cycle:

Defines and describes obligatory developmental transformations. Includes metamorphosis, instars, gametophyte/embryophytes, transitions from sessile to mobile forms. Discusses timing. Morphology usually described in morphological descriptions.

  • Life expectancy:

Any information on longevity, including The average period an organism can be expected to survive.

  • Look alikes:

Other taxa that this taxon may be confused with. Useful for identification and comparison. Common in invasive species communities.

  • Management:

Describes techniques and goals used in management of species. May include management relative to a piece of legislation, e.g., a CITES list.

  • Migration:

Description of the periodic movement of organisms from one locality to another (e.g., for breeding). Usually includes locality, timing, and hypothesised purpose.

  • Molecular biology:

Includes proteomic and biochemistry (e.g Toxicity). Genomic information is usually treated under genetics.

  • Morphology:

Description of the appearance of the taxon; e.g body plan, shape and colour of external features, typical postures. May be referred to as or include habit, or anatomy.

  • Phylogeny:

Description of phylogenetic and systematic treatments of the taxon.

  • Physiology:

Description of physiological processes. Includes metabolic rates, and systems such as circulation, respiration, excretion, immunity, neurophysiology.

  • Population biology:

Includes abundance information (population size, density) and demographics (e.g. age stratification).

  • Procedures:

Deals with how you go about managing this taxon; what are the known threats to this taxon?

  • Reproduction:

Description of reproductive physiology and behavior, including mating and life history variables. Includes cues, strategies, restraints, rates.

  • Risk statement:

Negative impacts on humans, communities.

  • Size:

Average size, max, range; type of size (perimeter, length, volume, weight …).

  • Taxon biology:

Summary or overview of all aspects of an organism’s biology.

  • Threats:

The threats to which this taxon is subject.

  • Trends:

An indication of whether a population is stable, or increasing or decreasing.

  • Trophic strategy:

Summaries general nature of feeding interactions. For example, basic mode of nutrient uptake (autotrophy, heterotrophy, coprophagy, saprophagy), position in food network (top predator, primary producer, consumer), diet categorization (detritovore, omnivore, carnivore, herbivore). Specific lists of taxa are treated under associations (specifying predators or prey).

  • Uses:

Benefits for humans (e.g. in the field of Economic Botany). Can include ecosystem services. However, benefits to ecosystems not specific to humans are best treated under Risk statement.