Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (1): 85-94.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015150

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Trends and challenges of ecosystem observations in the age of big data

Shengqi Dai, Bin Zhao*()   

  1. Coastal Ecosystems Research Station of the Yangtze River Estuary, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438
  • Received:2015-06-03 Accepted:2015-09-05 Online:2016-01-20 Published:2016-06-12
  • Contact: Zhao Bin


With the development of observation technology, the scale of ecological research is increasing. Ecological observations have turned from small-scale, short-time individual observations into broad-scale, long-term, interdisciplinary, multi-factor group observations. Innovation in sensor techniques has led to a profound evolution in time and space precision of ecological observations, while the volume, type, and generating speed of these observational data are increasing, which indicates that traditional ecological data acquisition, storage and management methods cannot afford the demands of modern ecological research. With the assistance of new big data storage, management and processing techniques, integrated with the Internet of Ecology, a citizen science observational network and standardized data management network, we can build an ecological observation system to resolve these issues. The concept to provide a one-station ecological observation service to researchers represents the general trend of the development of ecological observations in the age of big data.

Key words: sensors, observation network, internet of things, citizen science, social network