Ecology Ecological Informatics
by
Friedrich Recknagel
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 May 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199830060-0174

Introduction

Ecological informatics emerged as discipline in the early 2000s, taking into account the data-intensive nature of ecology, the precious information content of ecological data, the growing capacity of computational technology to leverage complex data, as well as the critical need for informing sustainable management of complex ecosystems. It comprehends novel concepts and techniques for image- and genome-based monitoring, data archiving, sharing and visualization, data analysis, modeling, and forecasting.

General Overviews

Recknagel 2003 focused the scope of ecological informatics on archival, retrieval, and visualization as well as analysis, synthesis, and forecasting of ecological data by novel computation techniques. He emphasized leveraging complex ecological data by bio-inspired computation. Jones, et al. 2006; Reichman, et al. 2011; and Michener and Jones 2012 suggested archiving, sharing and integration of ecological data as the key focus of ecological informatics. Recknagel 2006 and Recknagel 2008 included genome- and imaged-based monitoring in the scope of ecological informatics. Brewer, et al. 2012 demonstrated that ecological informatics is largely benefiting from the inclusion of paleo-ecology. In the early 21st century, acoustic and thermal imaging (e.g., Farina, et al. 2011; Matzner, et al. 2015) have been established as strong components of ecological informatics.

  • Brewer, S., Stephen T. Jackson, and John W. Williams. 2012. Paleoecoinformatics: Applying geohistorical data to ecological questions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27.2: 104–112.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.09.009E-mail Citation »

    Extends the scope of ecological informatics by integrating information-rich paleo-ecological data.

  • Farina, A., Nadia Pieretti, and Luigi Piccioli. 2011. The soundscape methodology for long-term bird monitoring: A Mediterranean Europe case-study. Ecological Informatics 6.6 (November): 354–363.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2011.07.004E-mail Citation »

    Ecoacoustic techniques allow continent-wide long-term monitoring of birds.

  • Jones, M. B., Mark P. Schildhauer, O. J. Reichman, and Shawn Bowers. 2006. The new bioinformatics: Integrating ecological data from the gene to the biosphere. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 37:519–544.

    DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110031E-mail Citation »

    Describes ecoinformatics as informatics frameworks for ecology, from subject-specific data warehouses to generic data collections that use detailed metadata descriptions and formal ontologies to catalogue and cross-reference information.

  • Matzner, S., Valerie I. Cullinan, and Corey A. Duberstein. 2015. Two-dimensional thermal video analysis of offshore bird and bat flight. Ecological Informatics 30:20–28.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2015.09.001E-mail Citation »

    Applies thermal imaging for determining flight behavior of birds and bats.

  • Michener, W. K., and M. Jones. 2012. Ecoinformatics: Supporting ecology as data-intensive science. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27.2: 85–93.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.11.016E-mail Citation »

    States that integrative informatics platforms, adoption of standard informatics protocols, and good data stewardship, as well as sociocultural changes such as promoting informatics literacy, data sharing, and scientific transparency are central to understanding the nature and pace of ecological and environmental change.

  • Recknagel, F. 2003. Ecological informatics: Understanding ecology by biologically-inspired computation. New York: Springer-Verlag.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-05150-4E-mail Citation »

    Ecological informatics focuses on archival, retrieval, and visualization as well as analysis, synthesis, and forecasting of ecological data by novel computation techniques.

  • Recknagel, F. 2006. Ecological informatics: Scope, techniques and applications. 2d rev. ed. New York: Springer-Verlag.

    DOI: 10.1007/3-540-28426-5E-mail Citation »

    Ecological informatics is introduced by taking advantage of biologically inspired computation such as artificial neural networks and evolutionary algorithms for analysis, synthesis, and forecasting of complex ecological data.

  • Recknagel, F. 2008. Ecological informatics: Overview. In Encyclopedia of ecology. Vol. 2. Edited by S. E. Jorgensen and B. D. Faith, 1041–1058. Oxford: Elsevier.

    E-mail Citation »

    Ecological informatics defined as a multidisciplinary framework that takes into account the data-intensive nature of ecology, the precious information content of ecological data, the growing capacity of computational technology to leverage complex data, as well as the critical need for informing sustainable management of complex ecosystems.

  • Reichman, O. J., Matthew B. Jones, and Mark P. Schildhauer. 2011. Challenges and opportunities of open data in ecology. Science 331:703–705.

    DOI: 10.1126/science.1197962E-mail Citation »

    Explains how data archiving must facilitate sharing of ecological data.

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