Diario del proyecto Eastern Seaboard Mollusks

13 de marzo de 2021

Live versus dead

Hello Eastern seaboarders,

The Eastern Seaboard Mollusks project is having a working group meeting over Zoom on Tuesday, March 16, at 1 pm EST to discuss how to make live versus dead distinctions and what information we are trying to capture with those distinctions.

The Eastern Seaboard TCN (Thematic Collection Network) is a project funded by the Natural Science Foundation. Here’s a link to the award announcement to Gonzalo Giribet, who started the companion Eastern Seaboard project on iNaturalist. https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2001528. Similar awards were made to a number of natural history collections in the United States.

In adding live-dead distinctions for samples in natural history collections databases, our goal is to document what currently lives in an area as distinct from what used to live there. Molluscan shells that wash up on beaches can be hundreds or even thousands of years old. Live-dead determinations will let us detect changing distributions patterns such expansion or contraction of ranges, which have implications for conservation and management.

That’s why the Eastern Seaboard project on iNaturalist requires the live-dead field to be filled in for an observation to be included in the project. It’s best if the information is added by the person contributing the observation, but it can also be added after the fact. A subsequent determination based on the photograph might end up saying “Cannot be determined”, whereas the person making the observation will have noticed more than is captured in the photograph, such as behavior, or the weight of the specimen.

The guidance that iNaturalist provides puts the border between live and dead at a slightly different place than we would put it in a natural history collections database. For “dead” iNat says “Organism is dead or shows signs of imminent death”. However, five minutes after the seagull dropped the clam on the rocks, the clam is dead—but the bird’s action show that the clam lives in the area. In a natural history collection, we would presumably score the clam as alive because of the scraps of tissue adhering to the shell.

I’ve already had discussions with a few of you on iNat about live-dead distinctions. Please send you thoughts about making live-dead distinctions, particularly borderline cases. If you want to attend the working group meeting, let me know, and I’ll provide a Zoom link.

Best wishes,
Gary

Ingresado el 13 de marzo de 2021 por gparosenberg gparosenberg | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

23 de febrero de 2021

Update on Eastern Seaboard Project

Hello everyone! Currently we have 29 members, but please feel free to invite anyone else who you think might be interested to come over and join us.

We are doing well so far. Having started from scratch on October 27, 2020, now, on 23rd February 2021, we have over 26,400 observations of 642 species of marine mollusks.

Any iNat person who would like to help out, as well as making new observations, can also please look for new or old batches of observations of marine mollusks from the Eastern Seaboard, and check to see if those observations have the annotation “dead” or “alive” filled in.

To find this, look under “Annotations”, which is below “Community Taxon” in the right column of every observation page. As well as “dead” or “alive”, you can also choose to say that the alive or dead status of the mollusk photographed “cannot be determined”.

With no dead/alive annotation, an observation will not be added to the Eastern Seaboard project; in contrast, once observations have that annotation, they will automatically be added to our project.

And, if you happen to know or notice anyone who seems to enjoy making observations of marine mollusks on the Eastern Seaboard, perhaps you can ask that person if they would start adding the dead or alive annotation to their observations, in order to save other people a lot of work checking them.

Thank you for your support!

Ingresado el 23 de febrero de 2021 por ggiribet ggiribet | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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