Friday, September 16, 2011
Accepted Poster Session: Integration of African solitary bee biodiversity information
Title: Integration of African solitary bee biodiversity information
Authors: Willem Coetzer, South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
Connal Eardley, Plant Protection Research Institute
Janine Kelly, Plant Protection Research Institute
Abstract: This project will build on another project, funded by SABIF in 2010, in which about 500 000 specimen records from three South African museums were cleaned and migrated to Specify6. We are trying to develop capacity for (Specify-based) biodiversity information management in South Africa and Africa.
One of the main objectives of the current JRS-funded project is to make available online the Catalogue of Afrotropical Bees (Eardley and Urban, 2010). This catalogue lists 2755 valid bee names and 6989 invalid bee names in 26 671 citations of 1229 literature references. The catalogue has already been imported into Specify6. The catalogue is interesting because it represents a 30-year effort to tag legacy biodiversity literature semantically, on the theme of bees in Africa, even though the authors didn’t necessarily foresee the recent developments in biodiversity informatics. The catalogue also includes 6194 mentions of 59 countries where bees occur, 4005 mentions of 1219 visited plant species, 182 mentions of 115 plant species that bees nest in, 93 mentions of 66 parasite species hosted (some parasites are themselves bees) and 50 mentions of 37 hosts parasitised by parasitic bees.
How do we make the literature text itself available online?
Information on bees and pollination is very important in conservation and agriculture, particularly in the face of global change. There are excellent networks and collaborations on bee taxonomy and pollination ecology in Africa, which would benefit immensely from easier, integrated, structured and enriched access to bee biodiversity information and literature.