Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Conservation Implications of Taxonomic Intelligence: A case study of Trillium
expand article infoAnne Lynn Frances, Leah Oliver, Kathy Goodin
‡ NatureServe, Arlington, VA, United States of America
Open Access


Taxonomy is integral to the conservation of species, yet the complexities associated with differing taxonomic perspectives present challenges to identifying the species most in need of conservation. The NatureServe Network maintains the most comprehensive data on rare plants and animals in the United States and Canada. Our central database maintains the taxonomic framework for over 80 member programs, requiring regular two-way data exchange. NatureServe's database actively manages different taxonomic concepts along with relevant downstream data such as conservation status and species occurrences. Here we present NatureServe's current process for maintaining taxonomic intelligence, and illustrate both challenges and successes in our approach. Through a case study of the genus Trillium, we also demonstrate how taxonomic intelligence is foundational to assigning conservation status. Trillium is a well known and widespread genus of spring wildflowers, some of which are used medicinally or ornamentally. We will focus on the Trillium pusillum complex, an active area of research, to show how taxonomic changes affect both conservation status and downstream data.


concept mapping, Global Ranks, Red List

Presenting author

Anne Lynn Frances

Presented at

TDWG 2020

Conflicts of interest

None to declare

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