Journal archives for July 2021

July 08, 2021

Taxonomic tree

I love the taxonomic tree and iNat certainly has played a big part in solidifying the structure in my mind in a comprehensible way. But in some perverse way I also love to come across it's shortcomings and imperfections. For those who so stringently admonish those who would use vernacular instead of scientific terms, be aware that the system has a long ways to go... and alienating laypeople by insisting on scientific names over common for the sake of this system isn't really helpful.

an interesting forum discussion

List of different organizations for taxonomy of plants - there is no single authority.
Catalog of Life
Plants of the World Online

How iNaturalist uses data from other organizations to create its taxonomic tree

Interesting and semi-related -

When homonyms get confused on iNaturalist, they wind up in the "Life" category

definition of hemihomonym

paranyms are also fun, like Micrommata and Micromata. Nobody seems to be making lists of these, though.

Posted on July 08, 2021 03:51 PM by aphili8 aphili8 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 26, 2021

Trapa natans notes

Jotted some notes during water chestnut training - currently early detection is a priority because there is not much spread!

Indigenous to Europe, Asia and Africa
brought to Mass. by water gardeners in 1800s
Rooted - has leaves in two forms, Floating and submerged
the floating leaves are triangular, with toothed margins, the top is glossy, the underside has small hairs, and they are kept afloat with bladders
Nothing was said about the submerged leaves
Flowers are small with 4 petals. They appear in the center of the rosette in mid-July
Fruit is a nutlet with 4 spiny projections. it is able to penetrate shoe leather
Old black nuts float, but are generally not viable. Green to brown nuts are viable.
Report any sighting - fruit or plant!
Stems and Roots - roots are finely branched

It has a high reproductive rate making about 15 nuts per season. Nuts can be viable for 12 years
Even if you pull plants, remaining seeds can propogate so you have to continue to return for many years to eradicate.
No known look-alikes (except mosaic plant!! but that is in a different family so probably flowers and fruits are different too and is not said to be invasive).

Spreads by rosettes breaking apart and attaching to boats. Nutlets can attach to waterfowl who take them to a new location.

Posted on July 26, 2021 02:36 PM by aphili8 aphili8 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 28, 2021

Invasives projects

Ideas for changing our project:

Oregon switched to an automatic collection project. It automatically collects all the observations of the desired species from the desired area. That's why they are dusting all the other areas in number of records!

NatureServe has an umbrella project. Nice to see how we rank with others... but also potentially a useful thing for us to consider if we want mini-projects within an umbrella project (eg early detection species, high priority species, and everything else).

We will get a LOT of data with collections projects, and a lot of it may not even be accurate. I see there are a few observations of alligatorweed, for instance, that I seriously doubt are alligator weed. There will also be a lot of horrible pictures and data that should have been marked cultivated but wasn't.

Maybe make two collection projects for early detection and priority species, and then a regular project for the rest? Then an umbrella project for the three projects? possibly retire the current project and add it as a fourth?

Copyright regs? I have little knowledge of this, but some people have copyright restrictions on their pictures. This will automatically put their observations on our project without their consent. Most people have very lenient restrictions that we abide by (giving credit to the photographer) and most people also want their data to be used for these kinds of projects... but if we are going to continue to use pictures for this we might want to see if we can exclude people with tighter restrictions because I don't think we can always make that assumption? Probably Amy has a better idea about this than I do, though.

Even without collections projects, we have added a number of observations with no copyright permissions. If they are part of the project they have consented, but if they are not they haven't read the project rules. There are some that currently don't allow use of pictures, and I suppose there is always the possibility that a user might change copyright restrictions... is it retroactive? how would we prove it?

Date is month and year for obscured observations now. Can we just enter under the 15th if the user doesn't give a date?

I have been making a note when I enter something directly into iMap so that we don't enter it again from iNat. is this good enough?

Posted on July 28, 2021 05:29 PM by aphili8 aphili8 | 0 comments | Leave a comment