BCCVL: a biodiversity and climate impact research tool

Have you ever wondered how the habitat of a Green Tree Frog is likely to change under various climate change scenarios? Or if frogs aren’t your thing, how about the habitat of a Little Pygmy Possum?

Regardless of the species, you can run an experiment in the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) to find areas where the environment is suitable for a species to survive.

You can then use your result in a Climate Change Projection to see how the suitable habitat of that species is likely to change 100 years from now under various climate change scenarios.

And there is so much more that the BCCVL can do. The Species Distribution Modelling Experiment (SDM) is one of six experiments currently available in the online research tool.

Developed by the eResearch team in Information Services alongside a consortium of other institutions and universities across Australia, the BCCVL is a ‘one stop modelling shop’ that simplifies the process of biodiversity and climate impact modelling.

Led by notable biodiversity and climate change researchers and information technology specialists, the BCCVL makes biodiversity and climate impact modelling more accessible to a wider range of users and fulfills the need for multi-model approaches to biodiversity analysis.

The BCCVL offers access to a large variety of datasets. You can import species occurrence data from the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) as well as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

There are approximately 4000 current and future climate data layers over a range of climate change scenarios and global climate models. It also has more than 300 environmental datasets including layers on soil classifications and vegetation indices.

According to University of New South Wales, Professor Shawn Laffan, ‘The BCCVL takes out nearly all the technical drudgery users are commonly faced with when running species distribution models.

‘With its easy to use interface, accessible from anywhere, it opens the field to a whole new array of researchers who understand the systems they are working on, but do not have the technical skill-sets or hardware to properly answer their questions’ said Professor Laffan.

The BCCVL is a multi-award winning research tool taking out the 2015 QLD iAwards for Research and Development and the 2016 QLD Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards for Technical Excellence. It has also been nominated for the National Awards to be held on 5 April 2017.

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