Writing Content for EOL Chapters

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For some of your text contributions, the proper choice of EOL subchapter will be obvious; for others it will be more difficult. There is some duplication in the coverage of different subjects, and the intent of some subjects may be ambiguous; e.g., we have a subject Ecology which is very broad and can accommodate a wide variety of different kinds of information, but there is also a subject Associations, which clearly overlaps with ecology but calls for more specific information. Then there's Diseases, which is a special kind of association. So how should you decide which subchapter to select?

In general, we recommend that you select the most specific subject possible; i. e., if you intend to write about diseases of a given organism, write this article in the Diseases subchapter. However, you may wish to discuss several different kinds of ecological interactions. In that case, it is more appropriate to write in a more general subchapter, like Associations.

EOL Subheading Description
Associations Describe and list taxa that interact with the subject taxon. Include explicit reference to the kind of ecological interaction, e.g. predator/prey; host/parasite; pollinators; symbiosis; mutualism; commensalism; hybridization.
Behavior Describe the behavior and behavioral patterns of the taxon. Include actions and reactions of the taxon in relation to its biotic and abiotic environment. Includes communication, perception, modes and mechanisms of locomotion, as well as long term strategies.
Benefits Description of the benefits of the focal taxon to humans or ecosystems. It can include ecosystem services. However, benefits to ecosystems not specific to humans are best treated under Risk Statement (what happens when the organism is removed).
Brief Summary A brief overview of select aspects of taxon biology. Intended to be brief -- not more than 300 or 400 words -- and present highlights of the taxon to engage the reader.
Cell Biology Describing known aspects of cell biology, including cell form, structure, organelles, and functions.
Citizen Science Links Links to citizen science projects relevant to this taxon.
Comprehensive Description A comprehensive description of the characteristics of the taxon (including all aspects of biology, not just physical descriptions). Used primarily when many of the subject categories are treated together in one object, but at length.
Conservation Status A description of the likelihood of the species becoming extinct in the present day or in the near future.
Cyclicity Describe biorhythms, whether on the scale of seconds, hours, days, or seasons. States or conditions characterized by regular repetition in time. Could also cover phenomena such as chewing rates.
Development Aspects of development in the focal taxon, including ontogenetic changes. This does not include life cycle information.
A description of the features that distinguish this taxon from close relatives or other similar species. May include, but is not restricted to, synapomorphies.
Diseases and Parasites Description of diseases that the organism is subject to. Disease-causing organisms can also be listed under associations.
Dispersal Description of the methods, circumstances, and timing of dispersal, including natal and interbreeding dispersal and sex differences in dispersal.
Distribution A description of the geographic distribution, or range, of the taxon. Includes descriptions of global, regional, or political aspects and whether the taxon is native or introduced in portions of the range. Altitude or depth range should be noted in Habitat.
Education Resources Links to education resources relevant to this taxon.
Evolution A general description of what is known about the evolutionary history of this taxon.
Fossil History A description of the known fossil history of the taxon. Known from what period and in what areas.
Functional Adaptations Biomechanics and other descriptions establishing relationships between morphologies, properties, or behaviors and their functions or adaptive significance.
General Ecology For ecological information that doesn't fit into more specific Ecology subchapters (Associations, Habitat, etc.), or which touches on more than one of those subjects.
Genetics Information on the genetics of the taxon, including karyotypes, barcoding status, whole genome sequencing status, ploidy.
Genome Links to genomic information or full genomes of the taxon.
Growth Description of growth rates, allometries, parameters known to be predictive, and morphometrics. Can also include hypotheses of paedomorphy, neoteny, etc.
Habitat Description of the habitat of the focal taxon, including realm (e.g Terrestrial etc.) and climatic or habitat information (e.g Boreal). This also includes requirements and tolerances for temperature, soil type, salinity, and so on, and altitudinal or depth distribution.
Identification Resources Links to identification keys or other identification resources that include this taxon.
Legislation Legal regulations or statutes relating to the taxon.
Life Cycle Defines and describes obligatory developmental transformations and their timing, including metamorphosis, instars, gametophyte/embryophytes, transitions from sessile to mobile forms, and other life cycle transformations.
Life Expectancy Any information on longevity, including average and extreme values for lifespan, ages of maximum mortality, and survival rates. Also includes information on distinguishing between captive and wild longevity and common causes of mortality.
Look Alikes Other taxa that the focal taxon may be confused with. This is common in invasive species communities and is useful for identification and comparison.
Management Describes the techniques and goals used in management of the focal taxon. May include management relative to a piece of legislation, e.g., a CITES list.
Migration Description of the periodic movement of organisms from one place to another (e.g., for breeding). These descriptions usually include localities during different periods of migration, timing, and purpose of migration.
Molecular Biology A description of important aspects of molecular biology or molecular markers useful in understanding this taxon and its ecology. This includes proteomic (isozymes, allozymes, MHC) or unique biochemical properties.
Morphology Description of the morphology of the taxon, including body plan, shape, color of external features, typical postures, habit, anatomy, and specialized morphological features
Notes A category intended as a place for content that is difficult to fit into EOL subchapters or that contains content intended for a wide variety of subchapters.
Physiology Description of physiological processes. Includes metabolic rates, and systems such as circulation, respiration, excretion, immunity, and neurophysiology.
Population Biology A description of population size, density, abundance, demographics, and dynamics. Population trends should be placed in Trends
Reproduction Description of reproductive physiology and behavior, including mating and life history variables. It also includes reproduction cues, strategies, restraints, and rates.
Risks Description of the negative impacts of the taxon to humans and ecosystems, including the negative impact on ecosystems should the taxon decline or go extinct.
Size Description of size, including averages, ranges, and extremes of any size dimension (mass, perimeter, length, volume, weight, etc.).
Systematics or Phylogenetics Description of the evolutionary relationships of this taxon and any controversies or important changes in the understanding of relationships.
Taxonomy Information about taxonomic history, nomenclatural issues.
Threats The threats to which this taxon is subject.
An indication of whether a population is stable, increasing, or decreasing
Trophic Strategy Summarizes the general nature of feeding interactions, such as basic mode of nutrient uptake (autotrophy, heterotrophy, coprophagy, saprophagy), position in food web (top predator, primary producer, consumer), diet categorization (detritovore, omnivore, herbivore, carnivore, etc.), degree of dietary specialization or generalization, and specific feeding strategies.
Type Information Information about type specimens associated with a given taxon; e.g., label data, the collection where they are stored, information about the specimens' history, etc.