Mapping the biosphere: Exploring species to understand the origin, organization and sustainability of biodiversity

TitleMapping the biosphere: Exploring species to understand the origin, organization and sustainability of biodiversity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWheeler QD, Knapp S, Stevenson DW, Stevenson J., Blum SD, Boom BM, Borisy GG, Buizer JL, De Carvalho MR, Cibrian A, Donoghue MJ, Doyle V, Gerson EM, Graham CH, Graves P, Graves SJ, Guralnick RP, Hamilton AL, Hanken J, Law W
JournalSystematics and Biodiversity
Volume10
Pagination1 - 20
ISSN14772000
KeywordsBIODIVERSITY, BIOSPHERE, CLIMATIC changes, CYBERINFRASTRUCTURE, DIGITIZATION, TAXONOMY, TECHNOLOGICAL innovations
Abstract

The time is ripe for a comprehensive mission to explore and document Earth’s species. This calls for a campaign to educate and inspire the next generation of professional and citizen species explorers, investments in cyber-infrastructure and collections to meet the unique needs of the producers and consumers of taxonomic information, and the formation and coordination of a multi-institutional, international, transdisciplinary community of researchers, scholars and engineers with the shared objective of creating a comprehensive inventory of species and detailed map of the biosphere. We conclude that an ambitious goal to describe 10 million species in less than 50 years is attainable based on the strength of 250 years of progress, worldwide collections, existing experts, technological innovation and collaborative teamwork. Existing digitization projects are overcoming obstacles of the past, facilitating collaboration and mobilizing literature, data, images and specimens through cyber te

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