Presentation by Julián Ramírez-Villegas at the 2013 GBIF Science Symposium. Title: Use of GBIF-mediated data for in-situ and ex-situ conservation planning.
Humans are largely dependent upon ecosystems and the services they provide. Despite these intricate and critical dependencies, biodiversity is currently significantly threatened by human activities. Impacts include dramatic changes in patterns of species composition, abundance, and diversity of organisms in various ecosystems. Knowledge of species occurrence and abundance is needed to understand the environmental impacts of human activities and to plan conservation measures to safeguard biodiversity. GBIF contributes to this need, providing more than 400 million observational records for a vast number of taxa.
The talk will describe the use of GBIF-accessed data for planning in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies under present and future climate scenarios. An overview of aspects of the GBIF database relevant for analysing biodiversity data will be provided. This will be followed by an analysis of threats and needs of in-situ conservation in South America, where the aim was providing policy prescriptions for conservation. A comprehensive and global analysis of ex-situ conservation gaps of crop wild relatives – a key source of genetic traits for adapting agriculture to climate change – will be presented, and the need for climate-smart conservation actions in the context of climate change discussed.