Distributed Dynamic Diversity Databases for Life
Reference Number: 238988

A coherent classification and species checklist of the world’s plants, animals, fungi and microbes is fundamental for accessing information about biodiversity. The Catalogue of Life provides the world with a unique service: a dynamically updated global index of validated scientific names, synonyms and common names integrated within a single taxonomic hierarchy.

The Catalogue of Life was initiated as a European Scientific Infrastructure under FP5 and has a distributed knowledge architecture. Its federated e-compendium of the world’s organisms grows rapidly (in 2009 covering well over one million species), and had established a formidable user base, including major global biodiversity portals as well as national biodiversity resources and individual users worldwide.

Joint Research Activities in the 4D4Life Project established the Catalogue of Life as a state of the art e-science facility based on an enhanced service-based distributed architecture. This made it available for integration into analytical and synthetic distributed networks such as those developing in conservation, climate change, invasive species, molecular biodiversity and regulatory domains. User-driven enhancements in the presentation of distribution data and bio-data were made.

In its Networking Activities 4D4Life strengthened the development of Global Species Databases that provide the core of the service, and extended the geographical reach of the programme beyond Europe by realizing a Multi-Hub Network integrating data from China, New Zealand, Australia, North America and Brazil.