C A R I N E T
The Caribbean Taxonomic Network of 
BioNET-INTERNATIONAL
STRUCTURE OF THE CARINET BIOSYSTEMATIC INFORMATION NETWORK


For sometime now CARINET has been trying to design and develop a database that would be both reliable and user friendly in providing identification of arthropods, microorganisms, nemas, non-vascular and vascular plants. In recognition of the needs of the CARINET database several taxonomic software packages were tested. Finally the Ecoport system was adopted.

What is EcoPort?
EcoPort is a relatively new computer system developed by FAO, Smithsonian Institute and The University of Florida. It is designed for biosystematic programmes and offers a flexible and reliable format to store and share scientific information as a whole ecosystem. Click here to see EcoPort definition.

Why EcoPort?
EcoPort apart from being a complete datafile system also "hosts the webpages of several strategic partners, who wish to:
        (i) manage the data that interest them as a virtual database witin EcoPort; and, 
        (ii) who want to avail themselves of EcoPort as a conventional Internet Service Provider (ISP). 
As ISP, EcoPort hosts websites/pages for partners while simultaneously making available the standard format and capabilities of the EcoPort database engine and suite of Internet technologies."(T. Putter, EcoPort Supervisor)
 

What are the Caribbean Taxonomic needs?
The main taxonomic needs in of wider Caribbean were identified in the user survey undertaken in 1996. It was decided that a website should be constructed, and that multiple relational databases and files are required to effectively organise the information, rather than a single database. All databases would be organized on a computer network and made available on Internet via linkage to the web page. Three databases were identified as major components of the system namely:

Species Database:
A complete record of each species is stored as a file called Entity and this would include the Name, Authority, Clasification, Description, Morphology, Ecology, Distribution, Management and other information such as the location for each museum collection in the CARINET system.

Directory of Experts Database:
Ecoport has included a record for each expert in the various taxonomic areas as well as in all other areas of Ecology. Each data and knowledge volunteer contributer is referrred to as the Editor  and has the privilege of being the author of the entities in his or her specialisation and is at liberty as well to update his or her own Expert record.

The data in the Expert database is linked to the Entities of work and to the Institution to which the Expert is affiliated.

Plant Health and other Institutions Database:
This database included a list of records of institutions related to the areas to plant health in the Caribbean as well as other institutions involved in taxonomy and ecology. Here we will refer to them as Contact
 

EcoPort as an online filling cabinet stored much more interesting information. This other information is also available in this Webpage and could be accessed using the EcoPort Logo at the front page.