Welcome to BioInfo: food webs and species interactions in the Biodiversity of UK and Ireland.
Content: This site offers lists of trophic relationships of species (and other taxa) abstracted from published sources. These are cross-referenced under both the species involved (eg the fungus and its host, or the insect and its foodplant.) In many cases there are links to photographs on our sister site, BioImages, but bear in mind that these generally illustrate the species, not the relationship.
Data entry is now reasonably complete for fungi on terrestrial plants growing or grown in our area, and BioInfo is the most complete and uptodate source of such information, online or in print. In other taxonomic groups a lot of relationships remain to be entered including algal parasites (eg chytrids); insect foodplants, parasites and prey; and marine foodwebs.
Geographical Scope: The criterion for inclusion of a species is that it must have been, or might be expected to be, found in Britain or Ireland. For plant parasites and pathogens, this is interpreted broadly and the eventual aim is to include all fungi found in Europe that parasitise plants growing or grown in our area. Such fungi are easily spread by horticulture or even on hikers' boots, whatsmore such fungi are easily overlooked so they could already be living in our area.
Purpose: Knowledge of trophic relationships helps with fieldcraft. It is easier to find an orgnaism if you know its habits. It is also useful during surveys to know what organisms to look for when a new plant host is encountered.
The trophic relationships can also be a guide to identification but shouldn't be relied on absolutely - insects and fungi don't read the books! And be particularly careful of accidental juxtaposition - a toadstool is not always associated with the nearest tree and just because an insect is sitting on a plant that doesn't mean that that's its foodplant.
How to find your way around: BioInfo follows the biological classification. This is a hierarchical system with species grouped in genera, genera in families, families in orders and so on up to kingdoms and superkingdoms. Biota takes you to the top of the classification tree.
Searching: BioInfo is indexed by Google (you can enter English or Latin names, or the type of relationship, eg ectomycorrhizal [note adjectival form]).
Browsing: If you just want to browse, Shortcuts takes you to a list of links to groups of organisms. You can then go directly to the group your are interested in. Then follow the links down to the species you want to see.
On the left of each page in the classification hierarchy is a column of links to take you back up the hierarchy. Using these and the subtaxon links in the body of the page you can navigate sideways.
(The Classification Hierarchy)
(The Easy Way in)
Conditions of Use