CRITTERBASE, a science-driven data warehouse for marine biota


Data on marine biota exist in many formats and sources, such as published literature, data repositories, and unpublished material. Due to this heterogeneity, information is difficult to find, access and combine, severely impeding its reuse for further scientific analysis and its long-term availability for future generations. To address this challenge, we present CRITTERBASE, a publicly accessible data warehouse and interactive portal that currently hosts quality-controlled and taxonomically standardized presence/absence, abundance, and biomass data for 18,644 samples and 3,664 benthic taxa (2,824 of which at species level). These samples were collected by grabs, underwater imaging or trawls in Arctic, North Sea and Antarctic regions between the years 1800 and 2014. Data were collated from literature, unpublished data, own research and online repositories. All metadata and links to primary sources are included. We envision CRITTERBASE becoming a valuable and continuously expanding tool for a wide range of usages, such as studies of spatio-temporal biodiversity patterns, impacts and risks of climate change or the evidence-based design of marine protection policies.
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