Welcome to InvertEBase: reaching back to see the future: species-rich invertebrate faunas document causes and consequences of biodiversity shifts
The rapid biodiversity change in North America has significant effects on essential ecosystem services, from impact on soil health and nutrient cycling, to agriculture, forestry and water quality. Effective monitoring of changes in biodiversity requires easy electronic access to historical specimen baseline information for temporal and regional species diversity comparisons, which can facilitate informed land management decisions. Vast amounts of specimen data are housed within the nation's natural history collections, but most of these data are not yet readily accessible as digital resources. The TCN "InvertEBase" is a 4-year collaborative effort to digitize specimen records from ten arthropod and mollusk collections housed at six major US museums in six states, three of them ranking among the top 10 collections in the world. They include the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, Il), Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH, OH), Auburn University Museum of Natural History (AUMNH, AL), University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (MI), Delaware Museum of Natural History (DMNH, DE), and Frost Entomological Museum at Pennsylvania State University (PA). InvertEBase will digitize de novo ~ 2.4 million georeferenced specimen records as well as integrate and mobilize data for 3.9 million terrestrial and aquatic arthropod and invertebrate specimens with special focus on the United States fauna. InvertEBase will greatly expand the taxon and geographic coverage of existing TCNs, and include the phylum Mollusca for the first time; DMNH, AUMNH, and CMNH will serve all of their invertebrate specimen data online for the first time. This project will significantly automate specimen data capture by utilizing optical character and voice-recognition technologies. The digitized data from this project will be immediately deployed for habitat-based distribution modeling and analyses.
This project made possible by the National Science Foundation awards EF 14-02667 to P. Sierwald and R. Bieler (Field Museum), EF 14-00993 to A. Deans (Penn State), EF 14-02697 to E. Shea (Delaware Museum of Natural History), EF 14- 04964 to D. O'Foighil (Museum of Zoology, UMichigan), EF 14-01176 to J. Bond (Auburn University), and EF 14-02785 to G. Svenson (Cleveland Museum of Natural History), and EF 14-01450 to J. Hanken (Harvard University).These awards are made as part of the National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections through the Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program and all data resulting from this award will be available through the national resource (iDigBio.org).