26 Feb 2013

EU-Brazil cooperation drives new approaches to improve biodiversity research

Two use cases to accelerate biodiversity research are now operational 
Taxonomic information classifying names of species is essential for reliable environmental science, for monitoring changes in biodiversity and for effectively addressing global challenges related to environmental change. But accessing and using taxonomic information is far from easy as we cannot always be sure that the same taxonomic name will appear in different catalogues, refer to the same species, or even appear at all. 
EUBrazilOpenBio project is addressing barriers such as this by making user-friendly tools more widely available to specialists in Brazil and Europe. Two use cases demonstrating biodiversity research are now operational and available to the community. 

The first use case focuses on comparing regional and global taxonomies. It cross-maps the regional List of Species of Brazilian Flora, containing around 10,000 species organized under 40,000 plant taxa names (including synonyms), against the global Species2000/ITIS Catalogue of Life (CoL), indexing about 150,000 plant species. The CoL Cross-mapping Tool developed by Cardiff University helps manage differences between catalogues by detecting, analysing and reporting not only differences between two checklists of species, but also differences in their taxonomic treatment. The second use case, consists in building on the on-going efforts of the Brazilian National Institute of Science & Technology – Virtual Herbarium of Flora and Fungi. Using a standard procedure for plant species native to Brazil, the aim is to generate species distribution (or ecological niche) models based on specimen data. This requires interaction with the List of Species of the Brazilian Flora with around 40.000 plant names in its 2010 edition, and with the speciesLink network, currently providing almost 5 million species occurrence records from hundreds of institutions. The modelling procedure uses different algorithms and separate steps for model assessment and projection into different environmental scenarios.

The cross-mapping tool and the ecological niche modelling tool are available from the EUBrazilOpenBio Gateway.

See the complete press release here
Source: EUBrazilOpenBio 

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