Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Data Standards for the Phenology of Plant Specimens
expand article infoKatelin Pearson, Libby Ellwood§, Edward Gilbert|, Rob Guralnick, James Macklin#, Gil Nelson¤,«, Patrick Sweeney», Brian Stucky, John Wieczorek˄, Jenn Yost
‡ California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, United States of America
§ Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, United States of America
| Arizona State University, Symbiota, Tempe, United States of America
¶ Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America
# Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Canada
¤ Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, United States of America
« University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States of America
» Yale University, New Haven, United States of America
˄ UC Berkeley, Berkeley, United States of America
Open Access


Phenological data (i.e., data on growth and reproductive events of organisms) are increasingly being used to study the effects of climate change, and biodiversity specimens have arisen as important sources of phenological data. However, phenological data are not expressly treated by the Darwin Core standard (Wieczorek et al. 2012), and specimen-based phenological data have been codified and stored in various Darwin Core fields using different vocabularies, making phenological data difficult to access, aggregate, and therefore analyze at scale across data sources. The California Phenology Network, an herbarium digitization collaboration launched in 2018, has harvested phenological data from over 1.4 million angiosperm specimens from California herbaria (Yost et al. 2020). We developed interim standards by which to score and store these data, but further development is needed for adoption of ideal phenological data standards into the Darwin Core. To this end, we are forming a Plant Specimen Phenology Task Group to develop a phenology extension for the Darwin Core standard. We will create fields into which phenological data can be entered and recommend a standardized vocabulary for use in these fields using the Plant Phenology Ontology (Stucky et al. 2018, Brenskelle et al. 2019). We invite all interested parties to become part of this Task Group and thereby contribute to the accesibility and use of these valuable data. In this talk, we will describe the need for plant phenological data standards, current challenges to developing such standards, and outline the next steps of the Task Group toward providing this valuable resource to the data user community.


Darwin Core, herbarium specimens

Presenting author

Katelin Pearson

Presented at

TDWG 2021


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