02/18/14 10:40 AM

Developed Infrastructures and projects in each country

Professor Francisco Hernández from Belgium.
Professor Francisco Hernández from Belgium.

LifeWatch members contributes with resources to build this electronic infrastructure for biodiversity research and policy in Europe,  not only with financial input but in kind too. On the one hand, for the last few years, with 7th Framework programme support and other funds, many technological appliances and instruments that have been developed can be included in this european network, once tailored to certain standards.

On the other hand, countries are joining efforts to built the basis of LifeWatch and are working on their regional grids. Furthermore, each representative has explained in Granada's meeting what their country can bring to the table to be analyzed and adapted if it's needed. They also pointed out and addressed the challenges in the project. In this session taked the floor representatives from Belgium, Francisco Hernández; Finland, Hannu Saarenmaa; Greece, Christos Arvanitidis; Hungary, Katalin Törok; Italy, Alberto Basset; Norway, Tor Heggberget; Portugal, Antonio Múrias; Slovakia, Julius Oszlany and finally Spain, Juan Miguel González-Aranda; Sweden, Ulf Gardenfors; and The Netherlands, Peter van Tienderen.

Belgium is contributing to the LifeWatch taxonomic backbone with different services, and for the regional components with 'marine, freshwater and terrestrial observatories, several biodiversity data systems, web services and models'.

Remote sensing data is provided from a wide range of sources: bird and fish tagging,  bat acoustic recorders, a sensor platform underwater with real-time digital camera system  and hidrophones, acoustic fish telemetry to stady distribution, migration and habitat use, and a scanner for water samples, among other data. Furthermore, Belgium has developed a web with geospatial european data, the webGIS where it is shown in an interactive way the vegetation cycle, snow indices, solar energy and fire indices.

In Italy the LifeWatch Research Network is constituted by more than 20 Institutions and involves more than 200 scientists from different fields, from biological and physicall research to ITC and citizen science. The main italian contribution to the common network is the Service Centre, which was inaugurated on 22nd June 2012 and will give support to the infrastructure. This facility has it basis in the University of Lecce.

Italy is also working in virtual labs, a crucial area to foster and impulse collaboration between european researches. The italian representatives remembered the need of computational capacity in LifeWatch in order to manage the huge amount of biodiversity data that will browse through the distributed net from cross-disciplinary sources.

As for Norway, which is interested in becoming a LifeWatch member, through the NBC collates geographical data on species from 32 scientific institutions, organizations and consultancies. It has 110 different databases consisting of more than 16 mill. objects with more than 28,800 different species, that is shared through GBIF.

Moreover, Norway has implemented some dissemination tools to aware citizens to maintain the environment, like a mobile application that gives information about the place the person is standing at.

For its part Greece, full LifeWatch member, involves in this project 51 research Institutions and academic departments with 400 reserchers and experts. In respect to the technological infrastructure they are working in database for testing usage , developing and implementing a user-frendly application for database management, which is a must for scientist to work with. Finally, they are building and a geospatial platform to enable an easy visualization.

Portugal has established Porbiota, which will be the future Portuguese E-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity, designed  with the requirements of LifeWatch but also tailored to the national needs.  The core of this national project includes top units in biodiversity research and with experience in the development of supporting computational technologies, natural history museums, the Portuguese node of GBIF, and the national authority for biodiversity policy and management.

Portugal works closely with Spain in Iberlife. Its representatives stressed the need of having clear guidelines on how to implement LifeWatch at national and regional scales.

As for Hungary, this country will have an EcoInformatics Laboratory built this summer. It is constructed at the Centre for Ecological Research. They are usin also Biome-BGC, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Process Model, to modelling data from atmosphere, soil and plants.

Last but not least, Sweeden, as an observer, has collaborated actively with the project since the beginning. Nowadays they have an analysis portal for biodiversity data with statistics, modelling tools and maps to visualize the results. They have also implemented BioVeL, a virtual e-laboratory and they have developed the Species Gateway an Internet-based reporting system for species observations, used by citizen scientists, governmental agencies and county administrations.