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The tree of life links all biodiversity through a shared evolutionary history. This project will produce the first online, comprehensive first-draft tree of all 1.8 million named species, accessible to both the public and scientific communities. Assembly of the tree will incorporate previously-published results, with strong collaborations between computational and empirical biologists to develop, test and improve methods of data synthesis. This initial tree of life will not be static; instead, we will develop tools for scientists to update and revise the tree as new data come in. Early release of the tree and tools will motivate data sharing and facilitate ongoing synthesis of knowledge.
The KNB Data Repository is an international repository intended to facilitate ecological, environmental and earth science research in the broadest senses. For scientists, the KNB Data Repository is an efficient way to share, discover, access and interpret complex ecological, environmental, earth science, and sociological data and the software used to create and manage those data. Due to rich contextual information provided with data in the KNB, scientists are able to integrate and analyze data with less effort. The data originate from a highly-distributed set of field stations, laboratories, research sites, and individual researchers. The KNB supports rich, detailed metadata to promote data discovery as well as automated and manual integration of data into new projects. The KNB supports a rich set of modern repository services, including the ability to assign Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) so data sets can be confidently referenced in any publication, the ability to track the versions of datasets as they evolve through time, and metadata to establish the provenance relationships between source and derived data.
TEAM is devoted to monitoring long-term trends in biodiversity, land cover change, climate and ecosystem services in tropical forests. Tropical forests received first billing because of their overwhelming significance to the global biosphere (e.g., their disproportionately large role in global carbon and energy cycles) and because of the extraordinary threats they face. About 50 percent of the species described on Earth, and an even larger proportion of species not yet described, occur in tropical forests. TEAM aims to measure and compare plants, terrestrial mammals, ground-dwelling birds and climate using a standard methodology in a range of tropical forests, from relatively pristine places to those most affected by people. TEAM currently operates in sixteen tropical forest sites across Africa, Asia and Latin America supporting a network of scientists committed to standardized methods of data collection to quantify how plants and animals respond to pressures such as climate change and human encroachment.