Biodiv Sci ›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (5): 429-443.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.429

Special Issue: 生物多样性信息学专题(I)

• Special Topics on Biodiversity Informatics •     Next Articles

Progress in Biodiversity Informatics

Lisong Wang1, Bin Chen1, Liqiang Ji2, Keping Ma1,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
  • Received:2010-04-19 Accepted:2010-05-30 Online:2010-09-20 Published:2010-09-20
  • Contact: Keping Ma


Biodiversity Informatics is a young and rapidly growing field that brings information science and technologies to bear on the data and information generated by the study of biodiversity and related subjects. Recent years, biodiversity informatics community has made an extraordinary effort to digitize primary biodiversity data, and develop modelling tools, data integration, and county/regional/global biodiversity networks. In doing so, the community is creating an unprecedented global sharing of information and data produced by biodiversity science, and encouraging people to consider, survey and monitor natural biodiversity. Due to success of several international biodiversity informatics projects, such as Species 2000, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Barcoding of Life and Encyclopedia of Life, digitized information on species inventories, herbarium specimens, multimedia and literature is available through internet. These projects not only make great contributions to sharing digitized biodiversity data, but also in prompting the implementation of important biodiversity information standards, such as Darwin Core, and in the establishment of regional and national biodiversity networks. These efforts will facilitate the future establishment of a strong information infrastructure for data sharing and exchange at a global scale. Besides focusing on browsing and searching digitized data, scientists should also work on building data mining and modeling, such as MAXENT for Ecological Niche Modelling and LifeDesk for taxonomist’s knowledge management. At the same time, the idea of citizen sciences gains popularity showing us the benefit of the public working closely with the scientific community in completing internet-based biodiversity informatics activities. Therefore, biodiversity informatics has broad prospects, and is helping to build strong facilities that will aid in implementing the goals set by Global Plant Conservation Strategy and related international treaties, resolving biodiversity crises and the management of biodiversity resources in global climate change scenarios.

Key words: biodiversity, informatics, database, species, specimen, GIS