Diversity, fragmentation, and connectivity across the UK amphibian and reptile data management landscape

Turner Rebecca K.
Griffiths Richard A.
Wilkinson John W.
Julian Angela M.
Toms Mike P.
Isaac Nick J. B.

<p>Large-scale biodiversity monitoring remains a challenge in science and policy. ‘Biodiversity Observation Networks’ provide an integrated infrastructure for monitoring biodiversity through timely discovery, access, and re-use of data, but their establishment relies on an in-depth understanding of existing monitoring effort. We performed a scoping review and network analysis to assess the scope of available data on amphibians and reptiles in the UK and catalogue the mobilisation of information across the data landscape, thereby highlighting existing gaps. The monitoring portfolio has grown rapidly in recent decades, with over three times as many data sources than there are amphibian and reptile species in the UK now available. We identified 45 active sources of ‘FAIR’ (‘Findable’, ‘Accessible’, ‘Interoperable’ and ‘Reusable’) data. The taxonomic, geographic and temporal coverage of datasets appears largely uneven and no single source is currently suitable for producing robust multispecies assessments on large scales. A dynamic and patchy exchange of data occurs between different recording projects, recording communities and digital data platforms. The National Biodiversity Network Atlas is a highly connected source but the scope of its data (re-)use is potentially limited by insufficient accompanying metadata. The emerging complexity and fragmented nature of this dynamic data landscape is likely to grow without a concerted effort to integrate existing activities. The factors driving this complexity extend beyond the UK and to other facets of biodiversity. We recommend integration and greater stakeholder collaboration behind a coordinated infrastructure for data collection, storage and analysis, capable of delivering comprehensive assessments for large-scale biodiversity monitoring.</p>

Year of Publication
Biodiversity and Conservation
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