Biotic Interactions – GLoBI



Biotic Associations: Informal open session at 2018 ADBC Summit (McGuire Director’s Conference Room)

This session will cover two sequential time slots on Wednesday October 3, 2018 at the ADBC Summit in Gainesville to focus on biotic associations. The session is open to anyone to participate in person or virtually at The meetings will be held during the morning networking and break times (8:15-9:00AM and the 10-15-10-45AM).

The primary purpose of the meeting is to discuss how existing species interaction datasets are structured and how to increase our ability to generate aggregate datasets and examine networks of interactions. The conversation is relevant to any TCN that has data about associated taxa or species interactions, including lists of associated species in plant focused databases.

Jorrit Poelen (Global Biotic Interactions, GloBI) and Katja Seltmann (UC Santa Barbara, Parasite Tracker & California Plants) will lead the sessions. Jorrit Poelen will present an introduction and overview, and Katja Seltmann will present two specific examples of formatting interaction data using literature records and occurrence records from a Symbiota flavored DwC.

Literature records:

Symbiota Darwin Core Archive, using only existing Symbiota fields:

We will also discuss how to move forward with annotating current records and the possibility of establishing an informal group and discuss biotic associations data online every month or so (like

These and several other questions emerged after reviewing the 17.8 million records in SCAN for records that have information in the Darwin Core associatedTaxa field. The table below shows the number of records for four trophic groups queried from the SCAN database. We plan on discussing (perhaps in a later informal session) the SCAN use case, and we welcome other TCNs or interaction data providers to join in with their interaction data questions.

Biotic Associations
Arthropod Group # of Records % of SCAN Records
All Herbivores 109,245 0.61%
Hymenopteran Flower Visitors 30,354 0.17%
Vertebrate Parasites 7,528 0.04%
Parasitoids 2,416 0.01%
Total Biotic Associations 149,543 0.84%
  1. How do we organize and implement a process to update current fields like:

“Emerged from galls of Aciurina sp. (Tephritidae) on Chrysothamnus nauseosus (cotton gall)”

“On flowers of Dalea purpurea”

  1. How can we combine ongoing research with the targeted cleaning of association data?
  2. Can we develop procedures for cleaning up associated taxa data?
  3. Is there interest in forming an informal group and discuss biotic associations data every month or so like




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