Seven Recommendations to Make Your Invasive Alien Species Data More Useful

Quentin Groom, Tim Adriaens, Peter Desmet, Annie Simpson, Aaike De Wever, Ioannis Bazos, Ana Christina Cardoso, Lucinda Charles, Anastasia Christopoulou, Anna Gazda, Harry Helmisaari, Donald Hobern, Melanie Josefsson, Frances Lucy, Dragana Marisavljevic, Tomasz Oszako, Jan Pergi, Olivera Petrovic-Obradovic, Céline Prévot, Hans P. RavnGareth Richards, Alain Roques, Helen E. Roy, Marie-Anne A. Rozenberg, Riccardo Scalera, Elena Tricarico, Teodora Trichkova, Diemer Vercayie, Argyro Zenetos, Sonia Vanderhoeven

Research output: Contribution to journalA2: Article in a journal with peer review, not included in A1peer-review

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Science-based strategies to tackle biological invasions depend on recent, accurate, well-documented, standardized and openly accessible information on alien species. Currently and historically, biodiversity data are scattered in numerous disconnected data silos that lack interoperability. The situation is no different for alien species data, and this obstructs efficient retrieval, combination, and use of these kinds of information for research and policy-making. Standardization and interoperability are particularly important as many alien species related research and policy activities require pooling data. We describe seven ways that data on alien species can be made more accessible and useful, based on the results of a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) workshop: (1) Create data management plans; (2) Increase interoperability of information sources; (3) Document data through metadata; (4) Format data using existing standards; (5) Adopt controlled vocabularies; (6) Increase data availability; and (7) Ensure long-term data preservation. We identify four properties specific and integral to alien species data (species status, introduction pathway, degree of establishment, and impact mechanism) that are either missing from existing data standards or lack a recommended controlled vocabulary. Improved access to accurate, real-time and historical data will repay the long-term investment in data management infrastructure, by providing more accurate, timely and realistic assessments and analyses. If we improve core biodiversity data standards by developing their relevance to alien species, it will allow the automation of common activities regarding data processing in support of environmental policy. Furthermore, we call for considerable effort to maintain, update, standardize, archive, and aggregate datasets, to ensure proper valorization of alien species data and information before they become obsolete or lost.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Publication statusPublished - 30-Jun-2017

Thematic list

  • Invasive species (nature management)
  • Invasive species (fauna management)
  • Invasive species (management)
  • Invasive species (species diversity)

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology


  • species directed nature management


  • automation
  • statistics and modelling

Free keywords

  • invasieve exoten
  • invasieve soorten
  • exoten
  • databanken
  • open data

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