Strategies for Open and Permanent Access to Scientific Information in Latin America: Focus on Health and Environmental Information for Sustainable Development

Toward integrating three large and disparate networks and databases of Amazon tree biodiversity, Oliver Phillips and Vanderlei Canhos


Increasingly ecologists are using large, international research networks to standardise field data protocols, and collate vegetation plot information to help address large-scale questions concerning the distribution, function, and changes in tropical biodiversity.

Within Amazonia we propose to integrate three disparate but powerful sources of information

  • long-term monitoring plot records on growth, dynamics, biomass changes, and species changes, from >100 plots across Amazonia (RAINFOR = Red Amazonica de Inventarios Forestales)
  • floristic data on diversity, composition, and relative dominance, from 700 plots across Amazonia (ATDN = Amazon Tropical Diversity Network)
  • geo-referenced specimen data from localities across Amazonia (ABBIF = Amazon Basin Biodiversity Information Facility, networked links to regional and international herbaria)

    The talk will introduce the three networks, discuss their current strengths and weaknesses, and argue that their integration would enable us to develop powerful new capabilities. In particular, the integrated resources would allow us to (1) better model the current relationships of Amazon tree taxa to climate, and thus (2) provide the means to identify which taxa are at most risk from projected climate change scenarios, and (3) help to develop a distributed biodiversity observation and monitoring system for the world's largest tropical forest region.

    • The Global Alliance for Enhancing Access to and Application of Scientific Data in Developing Countries, of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, UN G@ID
    • U.S. National Committee for CODATA
    • Brazilian National Committee for CODATA.
    • CODATA Task Group on Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in Developing Countries