Abstract Detail

Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Hansen, Sara [1], Hackett, Rachel [2], Cahill, Blake [1], Cuthrell, David [2], Monfils, Michael [2], Belitz, Michael [4], Goebel, Ryan [5], Rowe, Logan [2], Monfils, Anna [5].

Applying the Digital Extended Specimen: building collections and integrating data.

Digital Extended Specimen (DES) data are critical resources for research and conservation efforts aimed at mitigating biodiversity loss. Discussions among the Distributed System of Scientific Collections (DiSSCo), Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN), GBIF’s Alliance for Biodiversity Knowledge, TDWG’s Task Group on Minimum Information about a Digital Specimen (MIDS), and others have converged to define DES objects as digital representations of specimens along with their associated and derived data. As the collections and research communities move into the next phase of actualizing the DES, there is a need for practical applications of the DES to new and existing datasets. Here we present case studies that demonstrate our process for creating, curating, and disseminating extensible specimens and associated data to inform ongoing research and conservation. We have applied our DES-based workflow to two urgent biodiversity issues: the invasive, aquatic plant European frog-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae L.), which has spread throughout the Laurentian Great Lakes region and, more recently, into inland waterbodies, and the IUCN-listed Poweshiek skipperling butterfly [Oarisma poweshiek (Parker 1870)], which has experienced a precipitous decline in the last two decades and now only occurs in three small populations in at-risk habitats: two populations in prairie fens of Michigan, United States, and one metapopulation in a tallgrass prairie of southern Manitoba, Canada. These projects are built around partnerships among botanists, ecologists, data scientists, managers, community members, and stakeholders with a variety of roles and involvement in the ecosystems of interest. Critical to the success of these partnerships are the development of shared sets of goals, methods, and data practices based on the FAIR Guiding Principles and Open Science values, which facilitate seamless integration and sharing of data among data providers and users at the level needed to support each component of the project. We will highlight the critical roles for building and maintaining interconnected, extensible biodiversity data at every step of the process, including database design and oversight by a data architect, fidelity to best practices for specimen and associated data collection by a field researcher, and curation of specimens with associated digital data by herbarium personnel. We will share our perspective as botanists and data scientists and discuss our decisions for project management, data collection and curation, and quality control that maintain the integrity of data in our research database and herbarium collection while meeting the needs of partners. By sharing our workflow and addressing potential challenges in generating high-quality DES data for ongoing projects and downstream use, we emphasize the importance and possibilities of the DES in collaborative, data-driven research.

1 - Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48858, USA
2 - Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, 48933, USA
3 - Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48858, USA
4 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
5 - Central Michigan University, Department of Biology, Mount Pleasant, MI, 48858, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: BI&HD I012
Abstract ID:697
Candidate for Awards:None

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