Fauna Europaea is Europe's main zoological taxonomic index, making the scientific names and distributions of all living, currently known, multicellular, European land and freshwater animals species integrally available in one authoritative database. Fauna Europaea covers about 260,000 taxon names, including 145,000 accepted (sub)species, assembled by a large network of (>400) leading specialists, using advanced electronic tools for data collations with data quality assured through sophisticated validation routines. Fauna Europaea started in 2000 as an EC funded FP5 project and provides a unique taxonomic reference for many user-groups such as scientists, governments, industries, nature conservation communities and educational programs. Fauna Europaea was formally accepted as an INSPIRE standard for Europe, as part of the European Taxonomic Backbone established in PESI.Fauna Europaea provides a public web portal at faunaeur.org with links to other key biodiversity services, is installed as a taxonomic backbone in wide range of biodiversity services and actively contributes to biodiversity informatics innovations in various initiatives and EC programs.
The protection, preservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and their functions are of global importance. For European states it became legally binding mainly through the EU-Water Framework Directive (WFD). In order to assess the ecological status of a given water body, aquatic biodiversity data are obtained and compared to a reference water body. The quantified mismatch obtained determines the extent of potential management actions. The current approach to biodiversity assessment is based on morpho-taxonomy. This approach has many drawbacks such as being time consuming, limited in temporal and spatial resolution, and error-prone due to the varying individual taxonomic expertise of the analysts. Novel genomic tools can overcome many of the aforementioned problems and could complement or even replace traditional bioassessment. Yet, a plethora of approaches are independently developed in different institutions, thereby hampering any concerted routine application. The goal of this Action is to nucleate a group of researchers across disciplines with the task to identify gold-standard genomic tools and novel ecogenomic indices for routine application in biodiversity assessments of European fresh-and marine water bodies. Furthermore, DNAqua-Net will provide a platform for training of the next generation of European researchers preparing them for the new technologies. Jointly with water managers, politicians, and other stakeholders, the group will develop a
The concept of semantic tagging and its potential for semantic enhancements to taxonomic papers is outlined and illustrated by four exemplar papers published in the present issue of ZooKeys. The four papers were created in different ways: (i) written in Microsoft Word and submitted as non-tagged manuscript (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.50.504); (ii) generated from Scratchpads and submitted as XML-tagged manuscripts (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.50.505 and doi: 10.3897/zookeys.50.506); (iii) generated from an author’s database (doi: 10.3897/zookeys.50.485) and submitted as XML-tagged manuscript. XML tagging and semantic enhancements were implemented during the editorial process of ZooKeys using the Pensoft Mark Up Tool (PMT), specially designed for this purpose. The XML schema used was TaxPub, an extension to the Document Type Definitions (DTD) of the US National Library of Medicine Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite (NLM). The following innovative methods of tagging, layout, publishing and disseminating the content were tested and implemented within the ZooKeys editorial workflow: (1) highly automated, fine-grained XML tagging based on TaxPub; (2) final XML output of the paper validated against the NLM DTD for archiving in PubMedCentral; (3) bibliographic metadata embedded in the PDF through XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform); (4) PDF uploaded after publication to the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL); (5) taxon treatments supplied through XML to Plazi; (6) semantically enhanced HTML version of the paper encompassing numerous internal and external links and linkouts, such as: (i) vizualisation of main tag elements within the text (e.g., taxon names, taxon treatments, localities, etc.); (ii) internal cross-linking between paper sections, citations, references, tables, and figures; (iii) mapping of localities listed in the whole paper or within separate taxon treatments; (v) taxon names autotagged, dynamically mapped and linked through the Pensoft Taxon Profile (PTP) to large international database services and indexers such as Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Barcode of Life (BOLD), Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), ZooBank, Wikipedia, Wikispecies, Wikimedia, and others; (vi) GenBank accession numbers autotagged and linked to NCBI; (vii) external links of taxon names to references in PubMed, Google Scholar, Biodiversity Heritage Library and other sources. With the launching of the working example, ZooKeys becomes the first taxonomic journal to provide a complete XML-based editorial, publication and dissemination workflow implemented as a routine and cost-efficient practice. It is anticipated that XML-based workflow will also soon be implemented in botany through PhytoKeys, a forthcoming partner journal of ZooKeys. The semantic markup and enhancements are expected to greatly extend and accelerate the way taxonomic information is published, disseminated and used.
We demonstrate how a classical taxonomic description of a new species can be enhanced by applying new generation molecular methods, and novel computing and imaging technologies. A cave-dwelling centipede, Eupolybothrus cavernicolus Komerički & Stoev sp. n. (Chilopoda: Lithobiomorpha: Lithobiidae), found in a remote karst region in Knin, Croatia, is the first eukaryotic species for which, in addition to the traditional morphological description, we provide a fully sequenced transcriptome, a DNA barcode, detailed anatomical X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) scans, and a movie of the living specimen to document important traits of its ex-situ behaviour. By employing micro-CT scanning in a new species for the first time, we create a high-resolution morphological and anatomical dataset that allows virtual reconstructions of the specimen and subsequent interactive manipulation to test the recently introduced ‘cybertype’ notion. In addition, the transcriptome was recorded with a total of 67,785 scaffolds, having an average length of 812 bp and N50 of 1,448 bp (see GigaDB). Subsequent annotation of 22,866 scaffolds was conducted by tracing homologs against current available databases, including Nr, SwissProt and COG. This pilot project illustrates a workflow of producing, storing, publishing and disseminating large data sets associated with a description of a new taxon. All data have been deposited in publicly accessible repositories, such as GigaScience GigaDB, NCBI, BOLD, Morphbank and Morphosource, and the respective open licenses used ensure their accessibility and re-usability.
The present paper describes policies and guidelines for scholarly publishing of biodiversity and biodiversity-related data, elaborated and updated during the Framework Program 7 EU BON project, on the basis of an earlier version published on Pensoft's website in 2011.
The centipede genus Eupolybothrus Verhoeff, 1907 in North Africa is revised. A new cavernicolous species, Eupolybothrus kahfi Stoev & Akkari, sp. n., is described from a cave in Jebel Zaghouan, northeast Tunisia. Morphologically, it is most closely related to Eupolybothrus nudicornis (Gervais, 1837) from North Africa and Southwest Europe but can be readily distinguished by the long antennae and leg-pair 15, a conical dorso-median protuberance emerging from the posterior part of prefemur 15, and the shape of the male first genital sternite. Molecular sequence data from the cytochrome c oxidase I gene (mtDNA–5’ COI-barcoding fragment) exhibit 19.19% divergence between Eupolybothrus kahfi and Eupolybothrus nudicornis, an interspecific value comparable to those observed among four other species of Eupolybothrus which, combined with a low intraspecific divergence (0.3–1.14%), supports the morphological diagnosis of Eupolybothrus kahfi as a separate species. This is the first troglomorphic myriapod to be found in Tunisia, and the second troglomorph lithobiomorph centipede known from North Africa. Eupolybothrus nudicornis is redescribed based on abundant material from Tunisia and its post-embryonic development, distribution and habitat preferences recorded. Eupolybothrus cloudsley-thompsoni Turk, 1955, a nominal species based on Tunisian type material, is placed in synonymy with Eupolybothrus nudicornis. To comply with the latest technological developments in publishing of biological information, the paper implements new approaches in cybertaxonomy, such as fine granularity XML tagging validated against the NLM DTD TaxPub for PubMedCentral and dissemination in XML to various aggregators (GBIF, EOL, Wikipedia), vizualisation of all taxa mentioned in the text via the dynamically created Pensoft Taxon Profile (PTP) page, data publishing, georeferencing of all localities via Google Earth, and ZooBank, GenBank and MorphBank registration of datasets. An interactive key to all valid species of Eupolybothrus is made with DELTA software.
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