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The Biótica© Information System


The Biotica Information System (Biótica©) has been especially designed to handle curatorial, nomenclatural, geographic, bibliographic, and ecological parameter data.  Its purpose is to reliably and simply help to capture and update information.

Biótica© was developed in a modular form both in the database structure and in its programs, taking into account the great variety of needs of the biological community (taxonomists, curators, biogeographers, ecologists, ethnobiologists, etc.); in addition to other characteristics, such as bar codes for labeling specimens; the information of the database can be linked to information handled by other applications, such as pictures, sounds, web pages, spreadsheets, other databases, etc.

Biótica© can be used both in a single and multi-user environment (network). 

Biótica© is divided into nine modules: Database, Directory, Nomenclatural, Specimen, Ecology, Geographic, Bibliography, Tools, and Help. 

A brief description is set forth below of each one of these modules:

·  Database: The system is connected to the database, where the information will be introduced; the configuration or predetermination of certain data used frequently –which will allow for introducing them more quickly– and the security of the system, where it is possible for users to be added and to define permits for each one of them.  This module is divided into database connection, configuration, security, change of user and exit.

·  Directory: In this module information relative to institutions and collections can be introduced, such as the name, acronym, address, etc., as well as the introduction in the system of determinator groups and groups of collectors or observers.  This module is divided into institutions, collections and groups and persons.

·  Nomenclatural: Here, scientific names with their respective taxonomic category are captured and updated, relations among taxons (synonymy, basonymy, etc.), association with external files (pictures, sounds, web pages, spreadsheets, etc.), common name, region and catalogs customizable by the user, which contain physical and environmental characteristics, etc. for the nomenclature, in addition to bibliographic citations for the name, for the relation among taxons and for the related catalogs.  This module is divided into Taxonomic Category, Catalog of Relations, Catalog of Characteristics, Taxonomic Name and Linked Catalogs with...

·  Specimen: This module includes information related to the collection, observation and bibliographic report of the specimen (scientific name, the collection to which it pertains, geographic data, habitat, micro-habitat, collection group, determination group, history of determinations, etc.), its biotic and abiotic information organized for the most part in catalogs, the association of the specimen with external files is possible (pictures, sounds, web pages, spreadsheets, etc.).  There is a catalog of nomenclatural types (holotype, paratype, etc.); one of interaction types (guest-host, mutualism, etc.), and one of characteristics (physical, habits, type of vegetation, etc.), in which the user can add the elements needed for capturing the information.

It is also possible to define interactions among specimens or among specimens and taxons.  This module is also capable of handling information related to seed samples (if selected when installing the system or when migrating the database) such as: tests applied to seeds (X ray, dissection, tetrazolio and germination), calculation of a number of seeds in the sample and the weight of one thousand seeds, history records, storage data, physical quality and behavior, characteristics of the seed samples, regeneration of the seed sample etc.  This module is divided into: Characteristic Catalogs, Nomenclatural Type, Interaction Catalog, Specimen and Interactions.

·  Ecology: In this module, information of type can be introduced: taxon, area of distribution and time (period), that is, population information.

This module is divided into a Catalog of parameters associated to the population that contains various parameters that could be captured from a population (for example, demography, behavior, eco morphology, reproduction, physical aspects of the environment, etc.); catalogs of study of... where it is possible to classify the organism associated to the study (modified live organism, wild, etc.); catalog of researches where it is possible to introduce the name of the specialists who carry out the study, and populations by taxon, where it is possible to introduce data of a population, whether for the entire area of distribution or for defined regions within the area of distribution of the population (plots); these data can be registered for the entire period of the study or for a specific date

·  Geographic: Here it is possible to introduce regions (geographic area which is defined in terms of its characteristics, such as environmental, socioeconomic, etc.), sites (geographic coordinates or area limited by two geographic coordinates) and localities.  These can be data related to the geographic location of the observation sites, report or collection of the specimen; distribution of taxons (regions); common names (regions) and study of the population (population data, samples).  It is also possible to define the distribution of taxons by associating them with geographic objects (lines, polygons and points) on digitalized maps.  There is a catalog of distribution type (current and original), where the user can introduce the types necessary to the user.

This module is divided into a Catalog of Regions, Catalog of Distribution Type, Regions, Sites and Localities, Catalog of Localities, Sites and Name-Map.

·  Bibliography: In this module, the populations are introduced (books, reports of studies, theses, etc.), and sub-publications (articles, chapters, etc.) that can be related to the specimen, to the scientific name, to the relations among names (synonymy, basonymy, etc.), to the catalogs for nomenclature and to the ecological module.  Here, the data of each bibliographic citation are specified, such as: title, volume, number, year, etc.

·  Tools: Information can be consulted by Dynamic Reports, which can be constructed by the user and a format defined for them according to the user’s needs, for this purpose using the report designer; labels of Bar Codes can be created; the Geographic Information System can be used to revise a Registry of activities of all users within the (LOG), using a tool to change the type of data from text type to –available for certain fields of observations that may require more space–, insert new levels for the catalogs by type of region, population parameters, characteristics of the specimen, characteristics of the taxon, and relations among taxons, compact the database (available only for MS Access databases), and use the  XML editor.

This module is divided into Dynamic Reports, SIG, Registry of activities, bar code, change type of data, add a level, compact database, XML editor, and verification of external information.

·  Help: In this module, information is available related to the Biótica© Registration number (which is required for using  the system when it ceases to be in evaluation), regarding Biótica, Help Topics, Information regarding the database and an option to write Comments regarding the system.  

Biótica© includes catalogs of:

  • Names of certain biological groups up to genus or species
  • Names of authors of the taxons
  • Collections and institutions
  • States and municipalities according to INEGI for Mexico
  • Hydrological, marine, and priority land regions of Mexico according to CONABIO
  • Catalogs that can be associated to the specimen and which can be customized by the user, such as: types of vegetation, forms of nutrition, forms of life, habitats, etc.
  • Catalog of population parameters which can be personalized by the user
  • Nomenclatural types