Overview: Antecedents, Motivation and Necessity

  • Gabriel CristóbalEmail author
  • Saúl Blanco
  • Gloria Bueno
Part of the Developments in Applied Phycology book series (DAPH, volume 10)


This chapter introduces the antecedents, motivation, and necessity of the use of automatic identification methods in diatom taxonomy. Expert biologists have a repetitive and laborious identification mission. The principal taxonomic features used to describe and classify diatoms relate to the morphology and texture of frustule. Classical taxonomic diagnosis is carried out by means of identification keys or by visual comparison with respect to standard preparations or reference iconographies. Automatic diatom identification remains an open challenge because, for instance, many diatoms that have been known by the same species for decades have subsequently been split into different species, while on the other hand the emergence of new species is continuous. The very promising results of the new deep learning techniques together with the development of new optical devices in microscopy allow to predict a significant advance in the field.



This research was partially sponsored by the project CTM2014-51907 financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Cristóbal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Saúl Blanco
    • 2
    • 3
  • Gloria Bueno
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto de Optica (CSIC)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales, Departamento de Biodiversidad y Gestión AmbientalUniversidad de LeónLeónSpain
  3. 3.Laboratorio de diatomología y calidad de aguas, Instituto de Investigación de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y BiodiversidadLeónSpain
  4. 4.VISILAB, Universidad de Castilla-La ManchaCiudad RealSpain

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