A Globally Integrated Structure of Taxonomy supporting biodiversity science and conservation

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Emily L. Sandall, Aurore Maureaud, Robert Guralnick, Melodie A. McGeoch, Yanina V. Sica, Matthew Rogan, Douglas B. Booher, Mark John Costello, Robert Edwards, Nico Franz, Kate Ingenloff, Maisha Lucas, Charles J. Marsh, Jennifer McGowan, Stefan Pinkert, Ajay Ranipeta, Peter Uetz, John Wieczorek, Walter Jetz


All aspects of biodiversity research, from taxonomy to conservation, rely on data associated with species names. Effective integration of names across multiple fields is paramount and depends on coordination and organization of taxonomic data. We review current efforts and find that even key applications for well-studied taxa still lack taxonomic elements required for interoperability and use. We identify opportunities offered by a metadata structure that supports improved access and integration of taxonomic backbone data, better connects taxonomic communities, and highlights broken linkages that limit the current research capacity. We recommend ways forward to improve interoperability of taxonomic data and resultant downstream use in broad biodiversity research and conservation applications.




Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences


taxonomic backbone, integrative science, data linkage, social infrastructure, biodiversity conservation


Published: 2022-10-28 04:03

Last Updated: 2022-10-28 11:03


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:

Data and Code Availability Statement:
Open data/code are not available, but will be available upon publication of the manuscript.

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