|SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization: Seaweed Collections Online: Mobilising data from national and regional museums
|Year of Publication
|Wilbraham, Jo, and Brodie Juliet
|Britain, Data Deficient, digitization, Scratchpad, seaweed, species distributions, SPNHC 2014, SPNHC 2014: Progress in Digitization
|The seashores and shallow seas around Britain support an important component of UK biodiversity with over 650 species of red, green and brown seaweeds which represent c. 7% of the described seaweed flora of the world. However, over 55% are Data Deficient according to IUCN criteria, there is increasing evidence that large brown habitat-forming seaweeds (kelps and fucoids) are disappearing and invasive seaweed species are increasing. Consequently there is an urgent and increasing need for good quality, verifiable data on past and present species occurrence to inform research into these issues. Museum collections provide crucial evidence points for mapping changing patterns in species distribution around the
UK. For this project we aimed to capture seaweed collections data from UK national and regional museums, focussing on our target list of seaweed species which we prioritised by their relevance to environmental change and conservation research. The project also enabled us to develop a network of persons responsible for seaweed collections at the participating institutions. These collections data are disseminated online via the project website. We used a Scratchpad for this purpose (http://scratchpads.eu) which provided tools for delivering specimen data and associated information in a customisable website: http://seaweeds.myspecies.info/. Fifteen institutions participated in the project over the course of one year and over 8000 records were received, 4334 of which were newly generated as part of the project. This project was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.