Taxonomic Schema

Taxonomic Thesaurus
The taxonomic thesaurus is required for all three Symbiota modules (Occurrence, Floristic, and Key Modules). There is the option to load multiple taxonomic thesauri within the system, though the central thesaurus (taxauthid = 1) is most important and required by the system. Having multiple thesauri allow users to render species lists according to different taxonomic opinions. Within the Occurrence Module, the thesaurus is used for querying the collections for taxonomic synonyms. In this case, it is the relationship of synonyms rather than taxon acceptance that is most important. The thesaurus is also used to resolve taxonomic discrepancies and combine synonyms when rendering a specimen search as unique species checklist. In the Floristic Module, static species checklists are established in accordance to the authors preferred taxonomy. The user has the ability to filter the list and render the taxonomy according to taxonomic opinions of the selected thesaurus. Within the Identification Key Module, the central thesaurus is an essential component of the data definition. Morphological character information is stored in the system in a hierarchical structure based on the taxonomic hierarchy defined for the central taxonomic thesaurus. This enables species to inherit morphology characters entered at the family or genus levels. For example, all members of Lamiaceae (mint family) will automatically inherit opposite leaf placement without the need to explicitly code that character for each species. Having the morphological character definition embedded in the taxonomic hierarchy additionally aids in limiting character coding of morphology to the taxonomic groups most relevant (e.g. grass characters limited to members of Poaceae).

Schema Structure
The table taxa holds the base information for each taxon record. Taxonomic rank is defined within this table in accordance to the related taxonunits table. Multiple vernacular names can be assigned to each taxon through the taxavernaculars table. Several taxonomic hierarchies and acceptance classifications can be defined within the taxstatus table. The required central taxonomic thesaurus, which should have a taxauthid = 1, is one of the main regulatory components of the system . Taxonomic hierarchies are defined through a recursive relationship between the taxa and taxstatus tables that continuously link taxa to parent taxa until the top taxonomic rank is reached, typically the kingdom.