Content Subject Categories

EOL content partners need to map the subjects of their text objects to standard subject types. These subjects should be derived from a controlled vocabulary such as the TDWG Species Profile Model (SPM), Plinian Core or one of the EOL defined subjects. This mapping will then determine where EOL puts a given text object in the Table of Contents (TOC) of a given taxon page. The table below displays the sequence in which the different subjects are displayed in the Detail and Resources tabs on EOL taxon pages.

For some of your text objects, the proper choice of subject will be obvious, for others it will be more difficult. There is obviously a lot of 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 map your data to these subjects?

In general, we recommend that you map your data to the most specific subject possible; i. e., if you have information about diseases of a given organisms, map it to the Diseases subject if you can. However, in many collections, information about diseases may not be separated from information about other associations or other ecological information in general. In these cases, you may then have to map your text object to a more general subject type. The most general subject type we provide is GeneralDescription. This is the subject type to use if your taxon accounts are not subdivided into separate subject-specific chapters.

EOL Headings Description Subject code
Overview › Brief Summary A brief overview of select aspects of taxon biology. Intended to be brief and present highlights of the taxon to engage the user. SPM#TaxonBiology
Overview › 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. SPM#Description SPM#GeneralDescription SPM#Biology
Overview › Distribution A description of the geographic distribution, or range, of the taxon. Includes descriptions of global, regional, or political aspects of range and whether the taxon is native or introduced in portions of the range and endemicity. Altitudinal or depth range should be noted in Habitat. SPM#Distribution
Physical Description › Morphology Description of the morphology of the taxon, including body plan, shape, color of external features, typical postures, habit, anatomy, and specialized morphological features SPM#Morphology
Physical Description › Size Description of size, including averages, ranges, and extremes of any size dimension (mass, perimeter, length, volume, weight, etc.). SPM#Size
Physical Description › Diagnostic Description A description of the features that distinguish this taxon from close relatives or other similar species. May include, but is not restricted to, synapomorphies. SPM#DiagnosticDescription
Physical Description › 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. SPM#LookAlikes
Physical Description › Development Aspects of development in the focal taxon, including ontogenetic changes. This does not include life cycle information. EOL#Development
Ecology › Habitat Description of the habitat of the focal taxon, including realm (e.g Terrestrial etc.) and climatic or habitat information (e.g Boreal). It also includes requirements and tolerances and altitudinal or depth distribution. SPM#Habitat
Ecology › Migration Description of the periodic movement of organisms from one locality to another (e.g., for breeding). These descriptions usually include localities during different periods of migration, timing, and hypothesized purpose of migration. SPM#Migration
Ecology › Dispersal Description of the methods, circumstances, and timing of dispersal, including natal and interbreeding dispersal and sex differences in dispersal. SPM#Dispersal
Ecology › 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. SPM#TrophicStrategy
Ecology › Associations Descriptions and lists of taxa that interact with the subject taxon, including explicit reference to the kind of ecological interaction: predator/prey; host/parasite, pollinators, symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism; hybridization, etc. SPM#Associations
Ecology › Diseases and Parasites Description of diseases that the organism is subject to. Disease-causing organisms can also be listed under associations. SPM#Diseases
Ecology › Population Biology A description of population size, density, abundance, demographics, and dynamics. Population trends should be placed in Trends SPM#PopulationBiology
Ecology › General Ecology A subchapter for mapping ecological information that doesn't fit into other Ecology subchapters, or which summarizes more than one Ecology subchapter in one chunk. SPM#Ecology
Life History and Behavior › Behavior Description of behavior and behavior patterns of an organism, including actions and reactions in relation to the biotic and abiotic environment. Includes communication, perception, modes and mechanisms of locomotion, as well as long term strategies. It should not include mating or reproductive strategies, which should be covered under reproduction. SPM#Behaviour
Life History and Behavior › Cyclicity Description of those states or conditions characterized by regular repetition in time, including biorhythms, whether on the scale of seconds, hours, days, or seasons. Life cycles are treated in the life cycle section, seasonal migration is treated in migration, and reproduction cyclicity is treated in reproduction. SPM#Cyclicity
Life History and Behavior › 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. SPM#LifeCycle
Life History and Behavior › 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. SPM#LifeExpectancy
Life History and Behavior › Reproduction Description of reproductive physiology and behavior, including mating and life history variables. It also includes reproduction cues, strategies, restraints, and rates. SPM#Reproduction
Life History and Behavior › Growth Description of growth rates, allometries, parameters known to be predictive, and morphometrics. Can also include hypotheses of paedomorphy, neoteny, etc. SPM#Growth
Evolution and Systematics › Evolution A general description of what is known about the evolutionary history of this taxon. SPM#Evolution
Evolution and Systematics › Fossil History A description of the known fossil history of the taxon. Known from what period and in what areas. EOL#FossilHistory
Evolution and Systematics › Systematics or Phylogenetics Description of the evolutionary relationships of this taxon and any controversies or important changes in the understanding of relationships. Also descriptions of any systematic or phylogenetic treatments of the taxon. EOL#SystematicsOrPhylogenetics
Evolution and Systematics › Functional Adaptations Biomechanics and other descriptions establishing relationships between morphologies, properties, or behaviors and their functions or adaptive significance. EOL#FunctionalAdaptations
Physiology and Cell Biology › Physiology Description of physiological processes. Includes metabolic rates, and systems such as circulation, respiration, excretion, immunity, and neurophysiology. SPM#Physiology
Physiology and Cell Biology › Cell Biology Describing known aspects of cell biology, including cell form, structure, organelles, and functions. SPM#Cytology
Molecular Biology and Genetics › Genetics Information on the genetics of the taxon, including karyotypes, barcoding status, whole genome sequencing status, ploidy. SPM#Genetics
Molecular Biology and Genetics › Genome Links to genomic information or full genomes of the focal taxon. EOL#Genome
Molecular Biology and Genetics › 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. SPM#MolecularBiology
Molecular Biology and Genetics › Molecular Biology Links to barcode data, including BOL and others. EOL#Barcode
Conservation › Conservation Status A description of the likelihood of the species becoming extinct in the present day or in the near future. Population size is treated under Population Biology and trends in population sizes are treated under Trends. However, this is the preferred element if an object includes all of these things and details about conservation listings. SPM#ConservationStatus SPM#Conservation
Conservation › Trends An indication of whether a population is stable, increasing, or decreasing SPM#Trends
Conservation › Threats The threats to which this taxon is subject. SPM#Procedures SPM#Threats
Conservation › 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. SPM#Management
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems › 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). SPM#Use
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems › Risks Description of the negative impacts of the focal taxon to humans and ecosystems, including the negative impact on ecosystems should the taxon decline or be extirpated. SPM#RiskStatement
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. EOL#Notes
Names and Taxonomy › Taxonomy Information about taxonomic history, nomenclatural issues. EOL#Taxonomy
Names and Taxonomy › 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. EOL#TypeInformation