Freshwater Invasive Species in Europe. A project of the GBIF Nodes of Europe

Introduction

In the last GBIF European Regional Nodes Meeting, held in Berlin on 27th-29th March 2012, it was decided to go ahead with a regional collaborative project on freshwater invasive species in Europe. Tasks were discussed and some responsible nodes were appointed to lead and facilitate the different components of the project (see “Action Plan” document below).

Freshwater biodiversity and invasive species are priorities in the EU, but they are also global concerns. For these reasons the European GBIF Nodes agreed to contribute resources, in cooperation with the European BioFresh Project, to improve data –access, quantity and quality– on this theme; all within the framework of GBIF. The Nodes Portal Toolkit (NPT) will be incorporated in this thematic collaborative approach as well.

This wiki is hosted and maintained by the GBIF Spain node which is in charge of the quality aspects of the project.

An Action Plan on Freshwater/Invasives & BioFresh was schetched at the European GBIF Nodes meeting (Berlin, 29-03-2012):

Developing a Pilot data portal using NPT

Link to the Google doc on this component developed and maintained by Bruno Danis:

[https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1O2VIRv-mE8rXzQ7MaHyhw-VgvX32JD5pdr6T28QX6oY]

Quality aspects of the project

As outlined in the Action Plan, GBIF-Spain is coordinating quality aspects. In that regard the following components have bee identified:

  1. Assembling a preliminary list of of freshwater invasive species in Europe (defining the taxonomic and names universe for the project)
  2. Determining candidate datasets
  3. Evaluating datasets useful for the project, and define explicit validation criteria
  4. Producing a list of datasets validated by the Project
  5. Extracting a slice of occurrences from the validated datasets
  6. Evaluating occurrences against a set of rules to discard useless records for the projects
  7. Identify gaps regarding taxonomic and geographic coverage, as well as reliability and correctness of datasets
  8. Feeding the Project NPT installation with the refined occurrences slice

1. Assembling a preliminary list of of freshwater invasive species in Europe

The list of freshwater invasive species in Europe was obtained gathering the common species after comparing the invasive species list provided both by the DAISIE Project and the NOBANIS Project versus the BioFresh Project species list.

In summary, the DAISIE Project (Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventory for EU) is focused on non-native species in the EU and surroundings, i.e. 46 European contributors, accounting for 11000 species approx. The species list can be found at [http://www.europe-aliens.org/speciesSearch.do].

The NOBANIS Project (European Network on Invasive Alien Species) is centered on invasive alien species in North and Central Europe, and provides more than 8200 species that can be found at [http://www.nobanis.org/Search.asp]. The network is formed by 20 institutions.

Further information about these and other invasive species projects running in Europe can be found in [http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/111111111/16190/1/reqno_jrc63806_alien_species_databases_%28jrc_s%26t_report%29%5B1%5D.pdf].

On the other hand, the BioFresh Project (Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems) is devoted to the study of the global freshwater biodiversity. The project integrates 19 European institutions as well as some other global partners.

The BioFresh list of species can be downloaded over the Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment Project (FADA) ([http://fada.biodiversity.be/]; [http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu/data/]). The list comprises more than 52000 species.

The three lists provide species information that belongs to different taxonomic groups (see the table below), some of them non-overlapping though.


table.jpg

Given that some big taxonomic groups have not been approached by the BioFresh Project yet, e.g. fungi and bryophytes, the species provided by the DAISIE Project were submitted to some specialists to identify the aquatic species. This way the final list of invasive aquatic species in EU will be as much complete as possible.

Meanwhile, the following diagram shows the number of species shared by the different projects (figures in bold), according to the list of names provided by each project (rest of the figures). Given that the DAISIE project does not include any infraspecific rank, no infraspecific names were considered neither for the BioFresh nor for the NOBANIS lists of species, e.g. subspecies names. Only genus and specific epithets were considered, i.e. no author names.

diagram.jpg

As a preliminary list for this project, we propose to use those species that the DAISIE and the BioFresh projects share (lined area in the diagram). The list with the 472 common species can be downloaded here: common_species_between_daisie_and_biofresh.xls. It is also available in Darwin Core Archive format here: dwcarchive.zip

The original lists downloaded from the Internet for each of the projects are provided as supplementary material (below).

Contributors

Mr. Aaike De Wever kindly provided the links to access the FADA list of species.

Supplementary material

2. Determining candidate datasets

The idea is to identify datasets with potentially relevant occurrences (i.e. ‘occurrence datasets that have records matching at least one of the species in the list’), in combination with a bounding box to select potentially relevant datasets. Now working with GBIF Secretariat on this.

A total of 1066 data resources contain at least one of the species enlisted in the list of the freshwater invasive species in Europe elaborated here. Those matchings are referred to species georeferenced in Europe. The following datasets showed more than 100,000 matchings:

table_100000.jpg

The complete list of datasets containing both the data resouce IDs and the data resource URLs (as well as the dataset names for those resources with 100 or more matchings) can be downloaded here: candidate_datasets.xls

3. To evaluate datasets useful for the project, and define explicit validation criteria

Assessing those datasets useful for the project regarding taxonomic and geographic coverage, as well as currentness, scientific backup; tagging datasets relevant for the project

In order to discuss the suitability of the preselected datasets for the Freshwater Invasive Species in Europe Project, several variables are presented here for discussion: time frame, geographic range / scope, habitat(s), taxonomic coverage, georeferenciation percentage, organization type, resolution, and origin of data / validation.

All the available information for those datasets that showed more than 100,000 matchings with the list of freshwater invasive species was collected in a table accessible here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar4WlF-F3aF-dDliVnpDaGpCQjVPT0RTeFItY3V4Z3c&usp=sharing

Notice that not all the info compiled in the table was available through the metadata supplied by the data providers (additional info in red; additional source of information URLs also included).

4. To produce a list of datasets validated by the Project

This may be “dataset flagging” or approached in other ways,

5. To extract a slice of occurrences from the validated datasets

Using the list of names compliled in step 1 and bounding box filter.

6. To evaluate occurrences against a set of rules to discard useless records for the projects (no coordinates, no date etc).

7. Identify gaps regarding taxonomic and geographic coverage, as well as other criteria

This will help to focus data mobilization and modulate subsequent analysis.

8. To feed the Project NPT installation with the refined occurrences slice.

 
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