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A biodiversity platform for weed identification and knowledge system in the western Indian Ocean

Balasubramanian D., Grard P., Le Bourgeois T., Ramesh B.R.. 2014. Jönköping : Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG), p. 1-3. TDWG 2014 Annual Conference, 2014-10-27/2014-10-31, Jönköping (Suède).

Biodiversity information on weeds, covering species descriptions and distribution, is essential for understanding the ecology and distribution of weeds and their management. WIKWIO (Weed Identification and Knowledge in the Western Indian Ocean), a European Union's African Caribbean Pacific Science & Technology II programme funded project, is focused on the Western Indian Ocean region to develop species information systems on weeds in food and cash crops. It aims to build a Science & Technology network comprised of scientists, extension workers and farmers. As a part of the project, a graphical species identification system is being developed based upon characters of species and values of these characters. The IDentification Assistée pour Ordinateur (IDAO) species identification system has been used for the evergreen trees of the Western Ghats, and for weeds and invasive plants in several countries in Africa and Asia. The IDAO system, developed by Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) and the French Institute of Pondicherry, is based on a set of characters and character states along with an iconic representation of each character state. Each species is built graphically with its associated set of character states. The identification system does not use traditional dichotomous keys, but is driven by a set of characters and builds the identification system through a probabilistic model to narrow and filter the set of species. The characters themselves are more readily seen by a non-technical audience and can be used by stakeholders for field identification. The IDAO system will be integrated with the WIKWIO portal's species pages module, based on the Species Profile Model. The characters and character states will be integrated with fields of the species profile model. Each species, in its species page will have the corresponding set of characters and character states represented as icons. This will help structure species pages and build a vocabulary for species descriptions.

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