April 15, 2014

Science Reference: First Online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas

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From the Biofresh Blog:

A new online Atlas of freshwater biodiversity representing spatial information and species distribution patterns will be launched today at the land-mark Water Lives symposium bringing together European Union policy makers and freshwater scientists.

Freshwaters are incredibly diverse habitats: they cover less than 1% of the Earth’s surface yet are home to 35% of all vertebrate species! Sadly, freshwater life is declining at an alarming rate faster than any other component of global biodiversity.

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[The Atlas]  provides policy-makers, water managers and scientists with an online, open-access and interactive gateway to key geographical information and spatial data on freshwater biodiversity across different scales.

The online Atlas adopts a book-like structure allowing easy browsing through its four thematic chapters, on I) Patterns of freshwater biodiversity, 2) Freshwater resources and ecosystems, 3) Pressures on freshwater systems and 4) Conservation and management. All of the maps are accompanied by a short article with further contextual background information. The interactive map interface allows easy switching between maps, navigation and zooming and the display of information attached to each map feature. Also, unlike a conventional printed atlas this on-line Atlas can be constantly expanded and up-dated as new maps and data become available.

The Atlas is an output of BioFresh – an EU-funded project that is putting together the scattered pieces of information about life in our rivers and lakes, to better understand, manage and protect our freshwaters for generations to come. It is edited by a pan-European group of freshwater science and conservation experts from 12 research institutes and supported by key international organisations active in the field of freshwater biodiversity research and conservation, namely GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Global Water System Project (GWSP)Conservation International (CI)Wetlands InternationalThe Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.