Resolving P_VARS Table Differences

between the EPD and GPD/NAPD

John Keltner and Rachid Cheddadi

The following table describes the differences that have developed between the European Pollen Database and Global Pollen Database (GPD/NAPD) in the use of the P_VARS (database table storing the pollen variables) table:

Database Field Name
EPD Usage

(Variable Id)

Sequential number that uniquely identifies the pollen variable. (same as EPD)

(Accepted Variable Id)

Same as GPD/NAPD except that P_VARS contains no nomenclatural synonyms. For example, Poaceae is a synonym of Gramineae, according to Flora Europaea. Only Gramineae appear in P_VARS. Identifies the Var# of the pollen variable that is the accepted name for this variable. This allows for the recording of nomenclatural and other synonyms in P_VARS. For example, both Poaceae and Gramineae both appear in P_VARS, but Gramineae points to Poaceae as the accepted name. (Note that only accepted variables appear in the COUNTS table.)

(Variable Name)

Full name of the pollen variable as submited by the author. (same as EPD)

(Higher Variable Id)

The next higher pollen variable (taxon), defined on the basis of the pollen morphology. The next higher variable, defined on the basis of the plant (sporophyte) taxonomy.

(Morphological Higher Variable Id)

The limiting variable (taxon) for any hierarchical amalgamation. The next higher variable, defined on the basis of the pollen morphology.

The proposed resolution to P_VARS usage differences is to remove hierarchy information entirely from P_VARS, and place it in two new tables: HIERARCH and TAXLIMIT.

Table Name Field Name EPD P_VARS Equivalent GPD/NAPD P_VARS Equivalent
HIERARCH Var# Var# Var#
  HigherVar# HVar# HVar# + MHVar#
TAXLIMIT Var# Var#  
  LimitVar# MHVar#  

This resolution eliminates the different usage of table fields between the databases.