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      Darwin Core: An Evolving Community-Developed Biodiversity Data Standard

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          Abstract

          Biodiversity data derive from myriad sources stored in various formats on many distinct hardware and software platforms. An essential step towards understanding global patterns of biodiversity is to provide a standardized view of these heterogeneous data sources to improve interoperability. Fundamental to this advance are definitions of common terms. This paper describes the evolution and development of Darwin Core, a data standard for publishing and integrating biodiversity information. We focus on the categories of terms that define the standard, differences between simple and relational Darwin Core, how the standard has been implemented, and the community processes that are essential for maintenance and growth of the standard. We present case-study extensions of the Darwin Core into new research communities, including metagenomics and genetic resources. We close by showing how Darwin Core records are integrated to create new knowledge products documenting species distributions and changes due to environmental perturbations.

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          Most cited references 42

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          The future of biodiversity.

          Recent extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times their pre-human levels in well-known, but taxonomically diverse groups from widely different environments. If all species currently deemed "threatened" become extinct in the next century, then future extinction rates will be 10 times recent rates. Some threatened species will survive the century, but many species not now threatened will succumb. Regions rich in species found only within them (endemics) dominate the global patterns of extinction. Although new technology provides details of habitat losses, estimates of future extinctions are hampered by our limited knowledge of which areas are rich in endemics.
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            Prospects for biodiversity.

            Assuming no radical transformation in human behavior, we can expect important changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2050. A considerable number of species extinctions will have taken place. Existing large blocks of tropical forest will be much reduced and fragmented, but temperate forests and some tropical forests will be stable or increasing in area, although the latter will be biotically impoverished. Marine ecosystems will be very different from today's, with few large marine predators, and freshwater biodiversity will be severely reduced almost everywhere. These changes will not, in themselves, threaten the survival of humans as a species.
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              The diversity of life

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2012
                6 January 2012
                : 7
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America
                [2 ]University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, United States of America
                [3 ]California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, United States of America
                [4 ]Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Copenhagen, Denmark
                [5 ]Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental, Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil
                [6 ]University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, United States of America
                University of Vermont, United States of America
                Author notes

                Wrote the paper: JW DB R. Guralnick SB MD R. Giovanni TR DV.

                Article
                PONE-D-11-18341
                10.1371/journal.pone.0029715
                3253084
                22238640
                c8a1fa4c-68bd-402a-b929-1fca3a8c3857
                Wieczorek et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 8
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology
                Computational Biology
                Genomics
                Ecology
                Evolutionary Biology
                Genomics
                Paleontology
                Computer Science
                Information Technology
                Earth Sciences
                Paleontology

                Uncategorized

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