Global Species Database

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A Global Species Database (GSD) is a digital catalog of organisms often defined around a conservation purpose for the organisms of interest.[1] GSDs attempt to be globally inclusive of species within their inclusion parameters versus local species databases. GSDs have a defined purpose, SPECIESDAB is a GSD for economically valuable fish species,[2] while FishBase focuses on fin fish regardless of their human potential for exploitation. Attempts have been made to create GSDs for extinct species such as trilobites.[3] A GSD can be broad in taxonomic scope, such as AlgaeBase comprehensively including algae and seagrasses from the entire planet, or narrow such as International Legume Database & Information Service, a GSD for members of a single plant family, the Fabaceae.[4]

A database restricted by geography such as Calflora focusing on California Floristic Province flowering plants and ferns is not a GSD.

The Catalogue of Life links together a number of GSDs of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms, such as FishBase[5] and AlgaeBase, and integrates these at a high level through a single node facilitating ease of access to global species data.[6]

See alsoEdit

  • Global 200, a global list of ecoregions that are conservation priorities
  • Global biodiversity, includes species diversity, as well as genetic and ecosystem diversity


  1. ^ "Glossary". Catalogue of Life. University of Reading. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Knowledge Forum". Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  3. ^ Adrain, J. "Higher taxa as proxies for species diversity: A Global Species Database of Trilobita". GSA 2006 Annual Meeting Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 207. Geological Society of America. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  4. ^ Yesson, Chris; Brewer, Peter W.; Sutton, Tim; Caithness, Neil; Pahwa, Jaspreet S.; Burgess, Mikhaila; Gray, W. Alec; White, Richard J.; Jones, Andrew C.; Bisby, Frank A.; Culham, Alastair; Beach, James. "How Global Is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility?". PLoS ONE. 2 (11): e1124. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001124. PMC 2043490.
  5. ^ "WorldFish Center". Resources. The WorldFish Center. Archived from the original on 9 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Glossary". Catalogue of Life. University of Reading. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.