[CF-metadata] Proposed standard names for biological model outputs

Roy Lowry rkl at bodc.ac.uk
Mon Dec 4 05:14:42 MST 2006

Hello Michael,

It would be helpful to have definitions with the standard name for the biological entities ( "diatom", "phytoplankton" etc.) as there is some inconsistency in usage.  In particular, whether phytoplankton includes cyanobacteria and/or free-floating macroalgae, the size limits of microzoo and mesozoo and the meaning of detritus (dead biological material?).

We also need to be aware of how the observational biological community would describe the measurand - my guess is 90% would go for 'Nitrogen biomass' rather than a concentration based term, although the latter is more open to clear expression of whether we are dealing with volume, mass or quantity (biomass in units of moles/litre is far from unknown!).  The former is more conducive to consistent biological/chemical syntax (e.g. molar_nitrogen_biomass_of diatoms), making the standard name easier to model semantically. Should we be considering setting up synonyms at the outset?

Note that we already have "moles_of_nitrate_per_unit_mass_in_sea_water" and therefore the syntax "moles_of_nitrate_per_unit_volume_in_sea_water" would be more consistent and again easier to model.

Cheers, Roy.

>>> "Godin, Michael" <Godin at mbari.org> 12/2/2006 12:14 am >>>
For working with data from biological models, I'd like to propose the following standard names:
molar_concentration_of_nitrogen_in_sea_water_due_to_diatoms (mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_nitrogen_in_sea_water_due_to_phytoplankton (mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_nitrogen_in_sea_water_due_to_mesozooplankton (mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_nitrogen_in_sea_water_due_to_ microzooplankton(mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_nitrogen_in_sea_water_due_to_detritus (mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_silicate_in_sea_water_due_to_detritus (mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_ammonium_in_sea_water (mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_nitrate_in_sea_water (mol m-3)

molar_concentration_of_silicate_in_sea_water (mol m-3)
The prefix "molar_concentration_of_X" is new, and I hope it is not too controversial.  I could have used "moles_of_X_per_unit_volume_in_Y", but "molar_concentration_of_X_in_Y" seemed a bit more concise.  Likewise "due_to_Z" where Z is not a verb is also new, and I hope it also seems reasonable.
Thank you for considering these additions


Michael A. Godin

Software Engineer

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Phone: 831-775-2063  http://www.mbari.org <http://www.mbari.org/> 


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