Table of Contents
MorphoBank supports editing and display of dynamic phylogenetic matrices of morphological characters with labeled images demonstrating homology statements. It implements many of the data editing functions of widely used desktop programs such as Mesquite and Nexus Data Editor in a networked, collaborative environment.
Unlike previous systems for phylogenetic research which focused primarily on the development of text-only matrices and trees, in MorphoBank media - and in particular images - are first class citizens. MorphoBank matrix development features are fully integrated with media management features. You may place images - intelligently selected based upon taxonomy - into cells with cell-specific labels to document your homology statements. High resolution imagery is supported with continuous pan and zoom and labels that maintain their scale and position as images are enlarged and reduced for inspection. This makes it possible to include detailed visual documentation of each assertion in your matrix dataset.
When creating a new matrix in MorphoBank you have two choices: you can start from scratch and enter in characters, states, taxa and cell scorings one at a time, or you can import an existing matrix (or matrices) created in some other application.
No matter which path you plan to take, clicking on the
Matrix button in the button bar will get you started.
As can be seen in Figure 12.1, “New matrix form”, there are many options, but the only required field is "name," which is simply a working title used to refer to your matrix. The operational taxonomic unit drop-down, which defaults to "species," should also be set, and is described in detail in the section called “The Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU)”.
If you simply fill in the name, set the OTU and click on "save" you will create a new matrix with a single "dummy" taxon and character (all matrices must have at least one character and one taxon). You can open this matrix in the editor, change the dummy character and taxon to suit and begin adding additional character, taxon and scoring data.