Universiteit Leiden: New database brings structure to global fungal diversity

Universiteit Leiden: New database brings structure to global fungal diversity. “An organized overview of the current global fungal diversity, that is what Irene Martorelli and colleagues try to achieve with the new MycoDiversity Database (MDDB) she builds in collaboration with Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The new database will make it easier and quicker to observe which fungi are known and how they are distributed over the globe. This may lead to discovery of new fungal species.”

NASA: NASA Fosters Innovative Ways to Understand Biodiversity

NASA: NASA Fosters Innovative Ways to Understand Biodiversity. “To study and monitor changes in Earth’s biodiversity, or the immense volume of organisms in the world, scientists and citizen scientists record their sightings in the field. At the same time, sensors on the ground and on board satellites and aircraft monitor flora and fauna on a regional to global scale. NASA has funded four projects to create new, virtual portals that bring into focus this wealth of biodiversity information to help inform scientists, land managers and decision makers around the world regarding the status and health of terrestrial ecosystems.”

PLOS Blogs: Introducing the Biodiversity Conservation Collection

PLOS Blogs: Introducing the Biodiversity Conservation Collection. “It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of our Biodiversity Conservation Collection. This Collection showcases research on a broad range of conservation science related topics, including anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity, such as habitat degradation, the spread of invasive species and global warming; conservation of key ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration and pest regulation; and new management strategies to prevent further biodiversity loss.”

Yale News: Yale, Field Museum map species diversity in South American national parks

Yale News: Yale, Field Museum map species diversity in South American national parks. “Park rangers, naturalists, tourists, educators, and land managers can now take a virtual tour of species diversity across three South American countries thanks to a new information dashboard created by researchers at Yale University and the Field Museum in Chicago. The Biodiversity Dashboard lists almost 5,500 species found in and around national parks in three of the world’s most biodiverse countries: Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.”

XinhuaNet: New database on China’s biodiversity released

XinhuaNet: New database on China’s biodiversity released. “China has released a database of its national annual species checklist to facilitate biodiversity research and conservation, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Monday. The database, known as the Catalogue of Life China 2020 Annual Checklist, was jointly compiled by researchers from the Institute of Zoology, the Institute of Botany, the Institute of Microbiology under the CAS as well as other institutions.”

Atlas Obscura: See 500 Years of Artful Nature Illustrations

Atlas Obscura: See 500 Years of Artful Nature Illustrations. “Now, the collaborative Biodiversity Heritage Library—a digital archive compiled by a consortium of natural-history libraries—has released over 150,000 artworks of the natural world, allowing public access to one of the largest illustrated compendiums of life on Earth. Years before wildlife photographers began to catalogue the world’s egrets, cephalopods, and rafflesia corpse flowers, artists like Elizabeth Gould were portraying species with illustrations, often reprinted as lithographs for the public.”

On the edge between science and art: Historical biodiversity data from Japanese ‘gyotaku’ (Phys .org)

Phys .org: On the edge between science and art: Historical biodiversity data from Japanese ‘gyotaku’. “Historical biodiversity data is being obtained from museum specimens, literature, classic monographs and old photographs, yet those sources can be damaged, lost or not completely adequate. That brings us to the need of finding additional, even if non-traditional, sources….In Japan many recreational fishers have recorded their memorable catches as ‘gyotaku’, which means fish impression or fish rubbing in English. ‘Gyotaku’ is made directly from the fish specimen and usually includes information such as sampling date and locality, the name of the fisherman, its witnesses, the fish species (frequently its local name), and fishing tackle used.”

Mongabay: New assessment method finds close to one-third of tropical Africa’s plants are potentially facing extinction

Mongabay: New assessment method finds close to one-third of tropical Africa’s plants are potentially facing extinction . “New research finds that nearly one-third — 31.7 percent — of tropical Africa’s vascular plant species might be at risk of going extinct. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is the go-to resource for conservation status assessments, but while the majority of vertebrate species have been assessed, we know far less about the conservation status of plants, especially in the tropics.”

BrockNews: Master of Sustainability student maps Niagara’s invasive species

BrockNews: Master of Sustainability student maps Niagara’s invasive species. “Plants and animals being introduced on purpose, or inadvertently into new environments, can have harmful impacts on native ecosystems. During her Master of Sustainability program at Brock University, Lyn Brown (MS ’19) learned all about the dangers of invasive species. As part of her thesis, Brown created the Niagara Region Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Control Database, which lists activities by organizations and groups in Niagara that manage invasive plant and aquatic species.”

CBC: Research, photos of Manitoba tundra open to public

CBC: Research, photos of Manitoba tundra open to public. “An archive of photos and research of plants and animals in Manitoba’s tundra are now available online, providing public access to decades of Churchill, Man., history. Professors from York University in Toronto are in the town 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg this week to share the Churchill Community of Knowledge — a digital archive that more than 50 York University students have been putting together since 2011.”

EurekAlert: Data mining applied to scholarly publications to finally reveal Earth’s biodiversity

EurekAlert: Data mining applied to scholarly publications to finally reveal Earth’s biodiversity. “The Biodiversity Literature Repository (BLR), a joint project of Plazi, Pensoft and Zenodo at CERN, takes on the challenge to open up the access to the data trapped in scientific publications, and find out how many species we know so far, what are their most important characteristics (also referred to as descriptions or taxonomic treatments), and how they look on various images. To do so, BLR uses highly standardised formats and terminology, typical for scientific publications, to discover and extract data from text written primarily for human consumption.”

Florida Museum: Digital records of preserved plants and animals change how scientists explore the world

Florida Museum: Digital records of preserved plants and animals change how scientists explore the world. “There’s a whole world behind the scenes at natural history museums that most people never see. Museum collections house millions upon millions of dinosaur bones, pickled sharks, dried leaves, and every other part of the natural world you can think of–more than could ever be put on display. Instead, these specimens are used in research by scientists trying to understand how different kinds of life evolved and how we can protect them. And a new study in Plos One delves into how scientists are using digital records of all these specimens.”

Michigan State University: Great Lakes Water Life database documents biodiversity of Great Lakes native species

Michigan State University: Great Lakes Water Life database documents biodiversity of Great Lakes native species. “The biological diversity of the North American Great Lakes makes this set of interconnected freshwater ecosystems unique on a global scale. To document the wide variety of flora and fauna native to the Great Lakes, NOAA-GLERL has partnered with US EPA and the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network to launch the new Great Lakes Water Life database: a comprehensive, accessible inventory of aquatic species found throughout the region.”

Neowin: Microsoft explains how its AI services are helping endangered species

Neowin: Microsoft explains how its AI services are helping endangered species. “Microsoft regards wildlife extinction as an important issue. The tech giant has aimed to raise awareness relating to the ‘biodiversity crisis’ in the recent past as well, teaming up with WWF to offer a related curriculum. Now, Microsoft has detailed some of the ways its AI services are being utilized by conservationists to help endangered species. The highlighted tools and models are helping these scientists collect and analyze data in a better manner.”

UChicago News: Scientists use technology to examine questions around climate, biodiversity

UChicago News: Scientists use technology to examine questions around climate, biodiversity. “clam shell may be a familiar find on the beach, but its intricate curves and markings tell a rich tale. For centuries, biologists have collected, drawn, measured and compared the shells of bivalve species, pursuing knowledge about how the environment and behavior shape biodiversity. Now, University of Chicago scientists are combining high-resolution 3-D imaging with new geometric deep learning approaches to reveal a fuller version of the story hidden in shells.”