The UIB collaborates in the Marine Biodiversity of the Balearic Sea Atlas of the Balearic Oceanography Center

atlas instituto español de oceanografíaThe University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) has collaborated in the creation of the Marine Biodiversity of the Balearic Sea Atlas. The Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing Service at the University has advised the development of the Atlas. Also, several researchers at the university have participated in the project. The Atlas was made by the Balearic Oceanography Centre of the Spanish Oceanography Institute, an e-MTA Campus aggregate center. It is available online.This atlas is the first map viewer that integrates data from Mediterranean marine species. Its aim is to spread the knowledge on the biodiversity of this sea and become a tool for its conservation. The strategic objective of the project is to understand the biodiversity of the marine biocenosis at the Balearic Sea, in order to provide quantitative criteria for defining areas of high biodiversity. This will help in the conservation of habitats and species, and in the reduction of biodiversity loss by human impacts and global change.

This atlas is the first in Europe that includes marine data and relevant information from different taxonomic groups (from phytoplankton to large species). It was developed with data collected over forty years of marine and oceanographic research, from 1970 to present.

The Atlas database contains over 90,000 records and integrates a large number of taxonomic groups: 33 phyla, 615 families, 1058 genera and about 1657 species, from the microscopic world (planktonic organisms) to the best known species (starfish, sponges, algae, jellyfish, fish), found in the context of the Balearic Islands. The sampled area is approximately 150,000 square kilometers.

The project has been co-funded by the Biodiversity Foundation, of the former Spanish Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, and has been coordinated by Salud Deudero, from RESMARE, a research group of the Balearic Oceanographic Center of the IEO.

The marine bioatlas has been developed at the request of the scientific community, public administration, environmental consultants and NGOs, to provide marine biodiversity data collected by government agencies such as the IEO. The information entered into the Atlas provides basic information for assessing the status of marine species of the Balearic Islands, applicable in coastal management and in the regulation of uses and impacts in the sea.

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