An ontology of core ecological entities
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ecoCore: An ontology of core ecological entities

In brief

Key Value
Title Ecology Core Ontology
Home page
Main contact PL Buttigieg @pbuttigieg
Discussion mailing-list click here
Issue tracker link


This ontology aims to provide core semantics for ecological entities, such as ecological functions (for predators, prey, etc), food webs, and ecological interactions. Through ECOCORE, we look forward to creating a semantic rallying point for the ecological community, a need expressed repeatedly over the past few years at workshops focused on ecological, environmental, and population-based semantics. We're working closely with the Environment Ontology (ENVO), Population and Community Ontology (PCO), the Ontology of Biological Attributes (OBA), and the Neuro Behavior Ontology (NBO) to build a robust and interoperating resource.

Naturally, the ontology is importing existing semantics where relevant, and has begun to channel requests for improvement to the hosting ontologies to promote collaboration.

Working in ecological semantics? Please join ECOCORE's efforts by sending an e-mail via this link.


Alpha release online. Some minor bugs, but content is available.

Stable release versions

The latest version of the ontology can always be found at:

Note: The PURL will not resolve until our request for listing has been approved by the OBO Foundry and Library.

Editors' version

Editors of this ontology should use the edit version, src/ontology/ecocore-edit.owl

Requests for new content or revision

Please use this GitHub repository's Issue tracker to request new terms/classes or report errors or specific concerns related to the ontology.


The first version of ECOCORE was built at the NSF-funded ClearEarth Hackathon, organised by Chris Jenkins and Anne Thesen, with input from ecologists, ontologists, and experts in natural language processing. The ontology was seeded with lists of terms generated as part of the hackathon.

This ontology repository was created using the ontology starter kit