European Ocean Biodiversity Information System


LifeWatch in a nutshell

The current availability of and access to habitat observations and ecosystem biodiversity data at species level is poor, indicating large spatial and temporal gaps. This discrepancy identified the need for infrastructure facilities that support biodiversity observations, research and management. Therefore it is increasingly important that Europe develops novel approaches to understand and manage our living environment, allowing for the development of reliable and science-based management strategies.

In this framework, LifeWatch was established as part of ESFRI (the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures). LifeWatch is a distributed virtual laboratory and will be used for biodiversity research, for climatological and environmental impact studies, to support the development of ecosystem services and to provide information for policy makers in Europe. This large European infrastructure will consist of several biodiversity observatories, databases, web services and modelling tools. It will be integrating the existing systems, upgrading them were possible and developing new systems where needed.

For more information on the link between LifeWatch and EurOBIS, see "About LifeWatch".

Link between (Eur)OBIS & LifeWatch

To standardize all species data and to integrate the distributed biodiversity data repositories and operating facilities, LifeWatch needs species information services. These services form the LifeWatch Species Information Backbone, and include taxonomy access services, a taxonomic editing environment, species occurrence services and catalogue services.

The LifeWatch Species Information Backbone aims at containing a wide range of taxonomic and species related data; the main goal being the integration of distributed biodiversity data repositories and operating facilities. EurOBIS will play an important role in this as the central storage facility for marine biogeographic data from all over Europe.

EurOBIS data in LifeWatch

Through the Belgian LifeWatch E-Lab - developed by LifeWatch Belgium - users can standardize, analyse and visualize their own data and combine their own data with data from other data bases. Through web services made available in an user-friendly user interface, a selection of several data services (taxonomic, geographic, thematic, ...) can be run successively. Through this E-Lab, the EurOBIS data are available by directly linking to OBIS.