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The phytoplankton traits thesaurus (PhytoTraits) is a reference work which properly describes concepts, represented by terms, widely used in phytoplankton functional ecology, focusing on morpho-functional traits. It contains approximately 120 terms and related semantic properties, decided and established under the agreement of a scientific expert community. PhytoTraits, providing harmonized concepts with associated unique and persistent identifiers (URI, Uniform Resource Identifier), has the potential to significantly reduce the barriers to data discovery, integration, and exchange.
The LifeWatch Italy national node has realised the Alien and Invasive Species Virtual Research Environment (Alien Species VRE) for supporting researchers to address basic and applied studies on ecosystem vulnerability to alien species arrival. The Alien Species VRE allows to: - access and download harmonised data on the national distribution of species of fauna and flora belonging to different habitats (marine, fresh and transitional waters, and terrestrial) published through the LifeWatch Italy Data Portal and distributed by the LifeWatch ERIC Metadata Catalogue; - upload their own datasets structured according to the LifeWatch Italy Data Schema in order to execute the service included in the VRE.
To address the today’s ecological challenges, it is necessary to use data coming from different disciplines and providers. Discovery and integration of data, especially from the ecological domain, is highly labour-intensive and often ambiguous in semantic terms. To improve the location, interpretation and integration of data based on its inherent meaning vocabularies can help in harmonizing and enriching descriptions of data, providing a formal mechanism for the definition of terms and their relationships. To satisfy these emerging needs LifeWatch ERIC developed a Semantic Resources Catalogue (EcoPortal) focused on the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research. This effort will help to support the community in the management and integration/alignment of their semantics and subsequently also of their data. The main goal of the EcoPortal initiative is to provide a unique platform for vocabularies in the ecological and domain for different kinds of stakeholders.