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Marine data archeology results

Since 2012, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) identified and recovered several historic biodiversity data series created by or in close collaboration with Belgian Marine Scientists.

2014

2012 - 2013


2014: 

Data series 4: Plankton data of the Belgian Part of the North Sea

Within the framework of LifeWatch and 4DEMON, plankton data of the Belgian Part of the North Sea (BPNS) has been recovered from historic reports and publications. In January 2014, different library units were consulted to track literature that can be a potential source for phytoplankton datasets in the BPNS: the Belgian Marine Bibliography (BMB), the archives of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), the archives and library of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (KBINand the library catalogues of the KU Leuven and Ghent University. A large part of the relevant publications were linked to “Project Sea (1970-1975)”, the two consecutive “Concerted research Actions” and the work done by Professor A. Louis of the KU Leuven.

Publications used as data source were made available in the Open Marine Archive Data and are described, archived and will be made available for the scientific community after the 4DEMON project.  

In total 41 literature items were recovered: 12 reports on phytoplankton abundance, 16 reports on primary production, 3 reports on abiotic data and 10 reports on zooplankton abundance.

The maps give an overview of the stations for which phytoplankton biodiversity data could be collected (right), an overview of the stations for which data on primary production could be collected (bottom left), and an overview of the stations for which chlorophyll data could be collected (bottom right, the green dots were recovered from paper reports).

 

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Data series 3: Scientific catch data from shrimp fisheries in the BPNS

Within the framework of LifeWatch and the MOU with the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), an inventory was made of potential sources on scientific catch data from shrimp fisheries in the Belgian Part of the North Sea (BPNS). 53 reports were identified after consulting several Library units: the Belgian Marine Bibliography (BMB), the VLIZ-library archive and the ILVO archive.

A part of the data is stored in databases or a digital file format, but a substantial part needed to be recovered from paper registration forms used during the sampling. The digitizing process is still ongoing but datasets are described in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) and data files will be archived in the Marine Data Archive (MDA).

The data will be integrated in a central database managed by ILVO and can be used for research purposes upon request.

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2012-2013

Data series 2: Identification of biological datasets from Belgian-Kenyan research

In 2012 the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote partnership in the field of marine sciences. One of the activities within the MOU is the recovery of datasets resulting from marine research in Kenya. The only trace of the research is in many cases published literature. Through digitizing these data, they shall become accessible again for the scientific community.

A query within the Belgian Marine Bibliography (BMB), resulted in a Kenyan literature collection, containing 402 theses and reports. After contacting the involved principal investigators, 65 datasets were digitized. Data were described in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) and archived in the Marine Data Archive (MDA).   

The data will be made publicly available through MDA and the European Ocean Biogeographic Information System (EurOBIS).

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Data series 1: Initial identification of biological datasets using the Belgian Marine Bibliography

A query within the Belgian Marine Bibliography (BMB), resulted in more than 1900 publications on biota. From this inventory 199 references were selected as a priority for data digitization. The publications were published between 1889-1995. The data were subjected to a quality control procedure.

Each digitized dataset was described in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS). The data files are stored in the Marine Data Archive (MDA) and they will be integrated in online databases such as such as the European Ocean Biogeographic Information System (EurOBIS), the Portal for Biology of the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet Biology) and the ScheldeMonitor.

The datasets recovered during the 2012-2013 data archeology projects contain more than 54.000 observation records, covering more than 5.500 identified species from all main taxonomic groups (graph on the right) collected from more than 3.800 stations (map below).

 

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