Biotic Matrix

Taxonomic Value:
Attribute Type:

***The purpose of the Biotic Matrix is to synthesize traits at taxonomic levels above the species, most often at the family level. These traits should apply to all, or nearly all, species within the higher taxonomic level. The Biotic Matrix can be used to populate these traits for individual species within CBRAT that are members of the higher taxonomic level (using the Execute Biotic Matrix). The synthesis can also be used as a stand-alone analysis (output using the Biotic Rules).

* It is NOT the purpose of the Biotic Matrix to capture the range of traits that occur across species within a higher taxonomic level. For example, classifying a family as a predator and a deposit-feeder designates that all species have both feeding modes. If certain species within the family are predators while others are deposit-feeders, it is not correct to classify the family as having both feeding modes, though it might be possible to add the feeding trait at the genus level.

* The list of traits for a higher taxonomic level is output by using filters on the Biotic Matrix page and then clicking on “Apply”.

* Exceptions to traits at the higher taxonomic level can be added for each specific trait. Exceptions are added by first listing the traits for a taxon using the Biotic Rules page. Then “Add” is used to add the exception to the specific trait. For example, the sponges (Porifera) are classified as suspension feeders, while the Add function was used to create exceptions for the family, genera, and species that are predators.

* New traits (rules) are added via the Create Rules page. Classifying a higher taxonomic level trait as a “Master” assigns this value to the taxon. There can only be one Master for each trait within a taxon but there can be multiple non-masters to capture other sources. The “Rule Description” can be used to add text documenting the rule.

* The Execute Biotic Matrix will populate all the species in CBRAT with the values for all the trait(s) and exceptions assigned to the higher taxonomic level. Values for traits that were entered manually for a particular species are not be overwritten by the Biotic Matrix. If an error is discovered, the “Clear Biotic Matrix Generated Values” will clear all the values entered via the Biotic Matrix for all species. However, this function will not clear the values that had been entered manually. After correcting the error, the higher level traits can be re-add via the Execute Biotic Matrix function.