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Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization

Quandt, Dietmar [1], Podsiadlowski, Lars [2], Muller, Kai [3], Wiechers, Sarah [4], Segovia, Claudia [5], Peñuela, Maria Cristina [6], Duperre, Nadine [7], Zarate, Santiago [8], Mariño Robalino, Lissette Marianela [9], Harms, Danilo [7].

BIO-GEEC: GERMAN-ECUADORIAN BIODIVERSITY CONSORTIUM - Stage 1: Establishing barcoding pipelines for biological systems of public and economic relevance.

Ecuador is a megadiverse country and all ecoregions of the country belong to one of the “hottest” global biodiversity hotspots, meaning that the very high levels of species endemism contrast with extreme levels of habitat destruction. Major challenges will be to restore the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in lost or disturbed habitats of human relevance, especially in the Andean mountain ecosystems (e. g. cloud forests or páramos). In this project, four German institutions and four Ecuadorian universities (17 scientists in total) are forming the German-Ecuadorian Biodiversity Consortium (BIO-GEEC) that has three major objectives. First, we develop a rapid pipeline for the genetic identification and characterization of organismic groups with public and/or economic relevance. We establish the physical infrastructure, databases, IT protocols and a Web App (EcBioDiv) for a comprehensive barcoding workflow, and transfer the skills and tools available in Germany to our partnering institutions in Ecuador. Second, we implement and test this infrastructure in four sub-projects (SP) that address patterns of biodiversity in taxa and tissue of high relevance: seed plants (tissue, seeds & pollen), pollinating insects, venomous arachnids, and soil microorganisms. Third, we generate an international network for reciprocal training and exchange. Within the SPs, we will be analyzing important aspects of microbiomes diversity (SP6) and seed biology (SP3), thereby paving the way to practical rehabilitation programs, but also providing a foundation for commercial enterprises such as plant nurseries (SP3) or biomedical research (SP6). We also compile a comprehensive library of palm pollinators and palm floral visitors and thus establish a complete network of palm species, their pollinators, and pollen for practical agriculture, farming and bioprospecting (SP4). We will further barcode venomous arachnids to allow for improved human health services and venom bioprospection (SP5). Several joint activities (e.g. a summer school and joint thesis supervision) will foster the nascent network. Once the molecular routines and informatic pipeline components have been established in Ecuador, BIO-GEEC will facilitate the biodiversity research for the Ecuadorian partners and the German institutions, since barriers for material and data exchange will be significantly lowered. German partners will benefit from the resources in terms of new project design, biodiversity analyses, biomonitoring and modelling. Ecuadorian partners will benefit from the physical infrastructure, new molecular skills and methodologies, and international training. We implement BIO-GEEC to serve as an umbrella for future biodiversity research projects in Ecuador involving molecular data.

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1 - University of Bonn, Nees Institute for Plant BIodiversity, Germany
2 - Museum Koenig, Centre for Molecular Biodiversity Research, Adenauerallee 160 53113 Bonn, Germany, Bonn, Germany
3 - Universidad of Munster, Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Hüfferstraße 1 48149 Münster, Munster, Germany
4 - Universität Hamburg, Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, Hüfferstraße 1 48149 Münster, Munster, Germany
5 - Universidad De Las Fuerzas Armadas-ESPE, Departamento De Ciencias De La VIda, Av. General Ruminahui S/N Y Paseo Sta Clara, Rio Titutini S5-110 Y Rio Corrientes, Sangolqui, P, 17-12-85, Ecuador
6 - IKIAM , Tena, Ecuador
7 - Universität Hamburg, Center of Natural History, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3 20146 Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
8 - Universidad Técnica del Norte, Ibarra, Ecuador
9 - Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas ESPE, Department of Life Science and agriculture, Av. General Rumiñahui , Sangolquí, Pichincha, 170804, Ecuador


Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: BIHDII, Biodiversity Informatics & Herbarium Digitization II
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM(EDT)
Number: BIHDII001
Abstract ID:670
Candidate for Awards:None

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