Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Vocabulary challenges with invasive species data sharing
expand article info Annie Simpson
‡ U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, United States of America
Open Access


Biodiversity Information Serving our Nation - BISON ( is the U.S. node to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (, containing more than 375 million documented locations for all species in the U.S. It is hosted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and includes a web site and application programming interface for apps and other websites to use for free. With this massive database one can see not only the 15 million records for nearly 10 thousand non-native species in the U.S. and its territories, but also their relationship to all of the other species in the country as well as their full national range. Leveraging this huge resource and its enterprise level cyberinfrastructure, USGS BISON staff have created a value-added feature by labeling non-native species records, even where contributing datasets have not provided such labels.

Based on our ongoing four-year compilation of non-native species scientific names from the literature, specific examples will be shared about the ambiguity and evolution of terms that have been discovered, as they relate to invasiveness, impact, dispersal, and management. The idea of incorporating these terms into an invasive species extension to Darwin Core has been discussed by Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) working group participants since at least 2005. One roadblock to the implementation of this standard's extension has been the diverse terminology used to describe the characteristics of biological invasions, terminology which has evolved significantly over the past decade.


invasive species, data sharing, terminology, vocabulary

Presenting author

Annie Simpson

Presented at

Joint TDWG/SPNHC meeting

S11 - Invasive Species Experts’ Panel: Breaking Information Silos

Funding program

Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries Program

Conflicts of interest

The author states there is no conflict of interest.

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