The dynamic Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean

Biogeographic information is of primary importance for monitoring biodiversity and detecting impacts of environmental changes, developing the bio/ecoregionalisation of the Southern Ocean, designing marine protected areas, conducting comparative biogeographic analyses, and discovering marine biodiversity hotspots. Stressed by fast-paced change, and strong environmental pressure, the importance of having high quality data openly available online has become part of the Antarctic researchers culture. As a result, more and more biodiversity primary data is made available through dedicated information systems, which take the form of web or data portals, offering free and open access to highly needed information.

In collaboration with the biodiversity.aq Team, the Lab will be coordinating the development of an exciting new project, the dynamic Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean (dBASO). Immediately following up on the static version of the Atlas, we will be progressively deploying an online, dynamic version of the Atlas.

dBASO will build its content from a blend of authoritative sources, including of course data assembled in the framework of the static version, but also taking advantage of a dynamic approach, allowing re-generation of maps including the latest available taxonomic and biogeographic data from various sources. dBASO could also include advanced functionalities, such as the capacity to build tailor-made maps, the possibility to tweak the modelisation parameters, the inclusion of data available from tdifferent databases (Register of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS), SCAR-MarBIN, ANTABIF, Antarctic Field Guides, GenBank,…), allowing the en-users to provide feedback on data or models, eventually turning dBASO into a community-driven platform entailed to publish and share maps generated using the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Hence, the dynamic version will complete and expand the hard copy version, and offer in addition – using appropriate technical solution such as webservices and APIs (Application Programing Interfaces) – analysis and visualization tools as well as environmental/model datasets in appropriate formats directly useful for Geographical Information Systems (GIS) users.