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IRBAS: An online database to collate, analyze, and synthesize data on the biodiversity and ecology of intermittent rivers worldwide
Leigh, C., B. Laporte, N. Bonada, K. Fritz, H. Pella, E. Sauquet, K. Tockner, AND T. Datry. IRBAS: An online database to collate, analyze, and synthesize data on the biodiversity and ecology of intermittent rivers worldwide. Ecology and Evolution. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Hoboken, NJ, 7(3):815-823, (2017). https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2679
This manuscript introduces the first database for the digital storage and provision of biodiversity, and associated hydrological and environmental, data on intermittent rivers worldwide. The database acts as both a data portal and discovery tool, facilitating the synthesis and analysis of the extant and growing data on these systems to elucidate patterns in and controls on intermittent river biodiversity. The manuscript describes the database, including how users can contribute to it and access data, outlines its key benefits and limitations, considers its future applications, and encourages contributions of data to expand its biogeographic and taxonomic coverage.
Key questions dominating contemporary ecological research and management concern interactions between biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and ecosystem services provision in the face of global change. This is particularly salient for freshwater biodiversity and in the context of river drying and flow‐regime change. Rivers that stop flowing and dry, herein intermittent rivers, are globally prevalent and dynamic ecosystems on which the body of research is expanding rapidly, consistent with the era of big data. However, the data encapsulated by this work remain largely fragmented, limiting our ability to answer the key questions beyond a case‐by‐case basis. To this end, the Intermittent River Biodiversity Analysis and Synthesis (IRBAS; http://irbas.cesab.org) project has collated, analyzed, and synthesized data from across the world on the biodiversity and environmental characteristics of intermittent rivers. The IRBAS database integrates and provides free access to these data, contributing to the growing, and global, knowledge base on these ubiquitous and important river systems, for both theoretical and applied advancement. The IRBAS database currently houses over 2000 data samples collected from six countries across three continents, primarily describing aquatic invertebrate taxa inhabiting intermittent rivers during flowing hydrological phases. As such, there is room to expand the biogeographic and taxonomic coverage, for example, through addition of data collected during nonflowing and dry hydrological phases. We encourage contributions and provide guidance on how to contribute and access data. Ultimately, the IRBAS database serves as a portal, storage, standardization, and discovery tool, enabling collation, synthesis, and analysis of data to elucidate patterns in river biodiversity and guide management. Contribution creates high visibility for datasets, facilitating collaboration. The IRBAS database will grow in content as the study of intermittent rivers continues and data retrieval will allow for networking, meta‐analyses, and testing of generalizations across multiple systems, regions, and taxa.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION
ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY BRANCH