eHabitat, a multi-purpose Web Processing Service for ecological modeling

G. Dubois, M. Schulz, J. Skøien, L. Bastin, S. Peedell
2013 Environmental Modelling & Software  
The number of interoperable research infrastructures has increased significantly with the growing awareness of the efforts made by the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). One of the societal benefit areas that is benefiting most from GEOSS is biodiversity, given the costs of monitoring the environment and managing complex information, from space observations to species records including their genetic characteristics. But GEOSS goes beyond simple data sharing to encourage the
more » ... ishing and combination of models, an approach which can ease the handling of complex multi-disciplinary questions. It is the purpose of this paper to illustrate these concepts by presenting eHabitat, a basic Web Processing Service (WPS) for computing the likelihood of finding ecosystems with equal properties to those specified by a user. Despite the availability of the agreed WPS standard for Web-based geospatial modeling, few practical implementations exist, making eHabitat a significant addition to the field. On the other hand, the wide uptake of Web access standards for geospatial data has led to a wealth of data sources within GEOSS which can be effectively combined using eHabitat. When chained with other services providing data on climate change, eHabitat can be used for ecological forecasting and becomes a useful tool for decision-makers assessing different strategies when selecting new areas to protect. eHabitat can use virtually any kind of thematic data that can be considered as useful when defining ecosystems and their future persistence under different climatic or development scenarios. The paper will present the architecture and illustrate the concepts through case studies which forecast the impact of climate change on protected areas or on the ecological niche of an African bird.
doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.11.005 fatcat:hvjrlmwzm5cehjiflsi2ah7bli