Species Interactions
of Australia Database (SIAD)

Atlas of Living Australia

Progress Report, 20 August, 2011

Herbivore Coridromius monotocopsis   eats   plant Monotoca elliptica

The Atlas of Living Australia (http://www.ala.org.au), Discover Life (http://www.discoverlife.org), BioInfo (UK) (http://www.bioinfo.org.uk) and the Encyclopedia of Life (http://www.eol.org) are working together to develop a schema and controlled vocabulary to share information on species interactions. Our team (Gerry Cassis, John Pickering and staff) is building a public domain, open source infrastructure that will enable web users to gather and share information on species interactions and associations. SIAD will include
  • the schema and associated controlled vocabulary;
  • mirrored data warehouses of publicly accessible files, a searchable index, and associated metadata;
  • software tools to upload, download, and check the integrity of data records.

To test and refine the system's functions, we will populate it with data sets that include information on Australian species, with the true bugs of Australia (Heteroptera) and their host plants as the first test case. The system will accommodate

  • literature-based data (e.g., AFD and APNI);
  • specimen based data (e.g., Plant Bug Inventory Database);
  • observational data from various sources, including photographs submitted by citizen scientists.

To date our team has focused on developing the schema, acquisition and processing of test data, and enhancement of the true bug test case dataset. We will present version-1 of the schema at a workshop at the 2011 TDWG meeting in New Orleans (see abstract -- http://www.discoverlife.org/siad/tdwg2011.html). Our current focus is to seek broad community input about the biological processes that we should cover in this process. What species interactions should we include? What questions do biologists want to ask about species interactions?

For more details see

Updated: 2011-09-20