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Taxonomy 2.0: computer-aided identification tools to assist Antarctic biologists in the field and in the laboratory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 October 2020

Thomas Saucède*
Biogéosciences, UMR 6282, CNRS, EPHE, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 6 boulevard Gabriel, 21000Dijon, France
Marc Eléaume
Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB UMR 7205), Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, EPHE, Université des Antilles, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005Paris, France
Quentin Jossart
Marine Biology Lab, CP160/15 Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) 50, Av. F.D. Roosevelt, B-1050Brussels, Belgium
Camille Moreau
Biogéosciences, UMR 6282, CNRS, EPHE, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 6 boulevard Gabriel, 21000Dijon, France Marine Biology Lab, CP160/15 Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) 50, Av. F.D. Roosevelt, B-1050Brussels, Belgium
Rachel Downey
Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University, Linnaeus Way, Acton 2601, Canberra, ACT, Australia
Narissa Bax
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania & Centre for Marine Socioecology, Hobart, TAS, Australia
Chester Sands
British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, CambridgeCB3 0ET, UK
Borja Mercado
Biodiversity and Cnidarians Evolution Group, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE), University of Valencia, 22085, 46071Valencia, Spain
Cyril Gallut
Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB UMR 7205), Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, EPHE, Université des Antilles, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005Paris, France
Régine Vignes-Lebbe
Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB UMR 7205), Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, EPHE, Université des Antilles, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005Paris, France


Species inventories are essential to the implementation of conservation policies to mitigate biodiversity loss and maintain ecosystem services and their value to the society. This is particularly topical with respect to climate change and direct anthropogenic effects on Antarctic biodiversity, with the identification of the most at-risk taxa and geographical areas becoming a priority. Identification tools are often neglected and considered helpful only for taxonomists. However, the development of new online information technologies and computer-aided identification tools provides an opportunity to promote them to a wider audience, especially considering the emerging generation of scientists who apply an integrative approach to taxonomy. This paper aims to clarify essential concepts and provide convenient and accessible tools, tips and suggested systems to use and develop knowledge bases (KBs). The software Xper3 was selected as an example of a user-friendly KB management system to give a general overview of existing tools and functionalities through two applications: the ‘Antarctic Echinoids’ and ‘Odontasteridae Southern Ocean (Asteroids)’ KBs. We highlight the advantages provided by KBs over more classical tools, and future potential uses are highlighted, including the production of field guides to aid in the compilation of species inventories for biodiversity conservation purposes.

Biological Sciences
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2020

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