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A new look at the state of the oceans

. This not only facilitates the fast development and expansion of the data base, but also leads to a high diversity of data entries with varied geographic origin through contributions from across the globe. This large geographic scope is of great importance for plankton research and is currently a unique feature of PLANKTON*NET compared to other data base systems.

Networking
Currently, PLANKTON*NET consists of two separate data bases - one at the Alfred Wegener Institute and another one at the Station Biologique de Roscoff in France. A third data base is planned at the University of Lisbon in Portugal. The long term goal of the project is the networking of all data bases and their integration into the existing World Data Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences (WDC-MARE). This data centre represents a virtual institute and is administered by the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences. Aside from WDC-MARE, there are more than 50 other global data bases worldwide that serve as long term archives and provide information for science.

PLANKTON*NET is financed in part by the European Union and has a duration of two years. Project partners include the Station Biologique de Roscoff and the University of Caen in France, the University of Lisbon and the Instituto de Investigaçao das Pescas e do Mar (IPIMAR) in Portugal, as well as the Natural History Museum in London.

Background
Research on biodiversity has been intensified considerably over the past years. Reasons for this include an increasing concern over species extinctions and habitat destruction on the one hand, and the improvement of detailed recording methods for existing species on the other. Particularly genetic methods have been used ever more frequently for species identification. In many regions, genetic tools have revealed that species diversity is much higher than previously thought. Especially in marine systems, the term 'diversi
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Source:Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research


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