Swedish please Swedish
Title in English:
Interactive keys - an easy and efficient method for species identification!
Evaluation of interactive identification programs and a character database and key of calicioid lichens of the Nordic countries. Master thesis by Magnus Lindh 2003, Department of Conservation biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Interaktiva nycklar - en enkel och effektiv metod för artbestämning!

Utvärdering av interaktiva nycklar samt karaktärsdatabas och interaktiv nyckel över knappnålslavar i Norden.

Calcium trabinellum

Master thesis by Magnus Lindh 2003

Supervisor: Göran Thor

Department of Conservation Biology
Box 7002
SE-750 07 Uppsala

The key is published on:

The report is in swedish but an abstract in english available below here. However the appendix are mostly in english.
- The Report in Swedish (whitout appendix)
- Appendix 1 Species-character matrix
- Appendix 2-4 Information about species, characters and characterstates
- Appendix 5 Sourcecode PHPKey

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Biological identification methods can be divided into three groups: the Field guide method, Dichotomous paper keys (which is the mostly used method) and different Computer based methods (which this report is about). Computer based identification tools can be divided into four groups: Hypertext keys, Multi Access keys, Expert Systems and Neural Networks. Today most interactive keys are Multi Access keys and are based on a species – character matrix.

A good interactive key should in my opinion have three fundamental attributes: (1) Unrestricted character use, (2) Ranking of the best character at any stage of the identification and (3) Opportunity to easy reach explanations of characters or more information about species. In a comparison of 14 identification programs and 6 interactive keys on the internet, the best keys, according to the three fundamental attributes and also some other, important criterias, were selected. They were the programs Intkey, Linnaeus II, Lucid, Taxis, XID and the Internet key PollyClave 2.

This report also introduces a new interactive key of calicioid lichens and fungi of the Nordic countries. It is based on a character database and program, named PHPKey, which was created during this master thesis. The database consists of 83 species, 27 characters, 216 character states and information about these. PHPKey is written in the HTML embedded programming language PHP. The key fulfil the three fundamental attributes of a good interactive key and is good competitor to PollyClave 2. The key is published in English and Swedish on http://www.artdata.slu.se/Nycklar.