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New database of ecological networks launched in Spain

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Posted April 15, 2014
Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons

As species are situated in the interdependent networks of interactions, network science is needed in order to predict future scenarios of animal communities and face challenges which can be caused by such global processes as climate warming or habitat loss and fragmentation. A new database of species interactions ecological networks, which has been launched by a team of life scientists from the Integrative Ecology Group in Seville, will help to reach these aims.

Although a lot of valuable information about animal networks was collected during the last decades, it was not systemized until recently. Centralization of information should make scientific investigations of species interactions easier. “We provide the most comprehensive data set of plant-animal mutualistic networks to date,“ the scientists claim.

The database is easily accessible and can be interesting for the general public as well. Complex webs of life are visualized using Google Maps.  Visitors can access information about a number of species, number of interactions, network connectance, locality and geographical coordinates. “If we aim to reach stakeholders and policy makers, an easy way of visualizing the network dataset compiled throughout the world is of paramount importance to capture their attention,“ the ecologists emphasized.

The database: www.web-of-life.es

The article: arXiv.org

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