EBV Data Portal
Checking the pulse of the planet’s biodiversity

Understanding


An effective and sustainable environmental stewardship policy and the actions that can reverse the loss of biodiversity rely on consistently generated, high quality information. Advances in biodiversity data collection methodologies and technologies are accelerating and, combined with an emerging culture of collaboration, integration and sharing, offer a major opportunity to improve the power, efficiency and impact of biodiversity observation systems. The challenge is to leverage these advances and opportunities through the establishment of a harmonized and efficient network of national and regional observatories that can not only help to understand the biosphere as a system, but also how fast, where, and why it is changing.

This way we can contribute and inform effective and timely conservation actions. As a response to these needs the Essential Biodiversity Variables, defined as the derived measurements required to study, report and manage biodiversity change, focusing on status and trend of different elements of biodiversity, play the role of brokers between monitoring initiatives and decision makers providing integration between primary observations and high-level indicators.

Visualising


Availability of EBV datasets : spatial resolution and frequency

Accessing


As global environmental problems become more apparent and the demand for solutions grows more urgent, it is critical that science, practice, and policy find better ways to work together. GEO BON, its network members and its allies have developed this metadata data portal with the strong conviction that we can enhance our ability to make more informed and targeted decisions that support sustainable development by empowering individuals, groups and nations through awareness and access to biodiversity spatial data.


Selection criteria

We use a practical approach for the search and selection of datasets that closely align to the EBVs framework concept. Priority was given to datasets that comply with criteria related to:

  • Conceptual definition
  • Spatial, temporal and taxonomic scope
  • Data availability
  • Quality requirements
  • Degree of interoperability
  • Calculation and aggregation mechanism
  • Constrains and sensitivity
  • Operationalization
  • Field testing and validation
  • Sustainability

Contact us

Our team is continuously updating this list as more datasets become available. If you would like to suggest additional datasets to be included in this dynamic list please contact us at ebv@geobon.org




Co-ancestry

Measurement and scalability Temporal sensitivity Feasibility Relevance and related CBD 2020 targets
Pairwise relatedness among individuals or inbreeding coefficient of selected species, within and among populations of each species
Generation time
Available for many species but few populations, and little systematic sampling over time This variable provides a good measure of the genetic independence of allele frequencies among individuals and about their susceptibility to lowered fitness. Target: 12

Allelic diversity

Measurement and scalability Temporal sensitivity Feasibility Relevance and related CBD 2020 targets
Allelic richness from genotypes of selected species (e.g. endangered species and domesticated species) at multiple locations (statistically representative of the species distribution)
Generation time
Data avalailable for several species and for several locations, but little global systematic sampling It is one the most used variables to measure genetic diversity, and can support the estimation of indicators such as “Trends in genetic diversity of selected species” and the “Red List Index”. Targets: 12, 13

Population genetic differentiation

Measurement and scalability Temporal sensitivity Feasibility Relevance and related CBD 2020 targets
Gene frequency differentiation (Fst and other measures) among populations or of a subpopulation compared to the metapopulation of selected species
Generation time
Data available for many species but often for a limited number of populations. Easy to augment datasets It is one the most used variables to measure genetic diversity, and can support the estimation of indicators such as “Trends in genetic diversity of selected species” and the “Red List Index”. Targets: 12, 13

Breed and variety diversity

Measurement and scalability Temporal sensitivity Feasibility Relevance and related CBD 2020 targets
Number of animals of each livestock breed and proportion of farmed area under each local crop variety, at multiple locations
5 to 10 years
Large datasets have been compiled by national organizations and FAO for livestock breeds, but there is insufficient systematic sampling for coverage of local crop varieties It is an essential variable to estimate the indicator “Trends in genetic diversity of domesticated animals and cultivated plants”. Target: 13



EBV Metric Name Conceptual definition Spatial Scope Temporal Scope Taxonomic Scope Access

Population abundances

Population occupancy
Wildlife Picture Index
The TEAM WIldlife Picture Index (WPI) consists of occupancy time series coming for more than 250 species and aproximately 500 populations of ground-dwelling terrestrial mammals and birds spanning from 2007 until the present. The data comes from 17 tropical forest protected areas distributed throughtout Africa, SE Asia and Latin America. Occupancy time series are combined into the WPI at different levels (protected area, guild, IUCN red list status, body size, Global). The WPI is the geometric mean of occupancies of species in a community (defined by the levels mentioned above) relative to the first year of measurement (first value is always 1).
Global, 120-180 km2
2007-2016, yearly
Mammals & birds
Population abundances
eBird
eBird engages volunteers via the Internet and mobile apps to collect bird observations in the form of checklists. The checklists contain information on the date, location, time, duration, distance traveled, whether the observer was reporting all species identified, and a list with count estimates of all species observed. More than 300 000 participants have submitted more than 20 million checklists that include 310 million bird observations from all countries globally. While the majority of observations are from the Western Hemisphere, eBird has recorded 97 % of the world's known bird species. All eBird data are stored within a well-curated, and openly accessible, data repository.
Global, 3 km
1900- , yearly
Birds
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Population abundances
Living Planet Index
The Living Planet Index (LPI) tracks trends in a large number of populations of species. The data used in constructing the index are time series of either population size, density, abundance or a proxy of abundance. For example, the number of nests or breeding pairs recorded may be used instead of a direct count of population. The Living Planet Index now contains populations which span any number of years between 1970 and 2015. The LPI 2014 reflects 40 years of trend data - from 1970 to 2010. After 2010, the amount of available data decreases due to the time taken for data to be collected, published and then entered into the LPI database, making the data set from 1970 to 2010 the most comprehensive and reliable for use at this time.
Global, point data
1970-2015, yearly
Animals

Species populations

Population abundances
North American Breeding Bird Survey
The North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), a survey that has been conducted for more than 45 years across much of North America. The BBS provides the most extensive historical database for monitoring avian populations in North America. It was initiated in the eastern United States and Canada in 1966, and expanded to provide coverage of the continental United States and southwestern Canada by 1968. Over 5200 surveyed routes are located across the continental U.S., Alaska, and Canada. The BBS provides an index of population abundance that can be applied towards estimating population trends and relative abundances at various geographic scales. Trend estimates for more than 420 bird species and all raw data are currently available via the BBS web site.
North America, transects of 29.4 km
1966-2014, yearly
Birds


EBV Metric Name Conceptual definition Spatial Scope Temporal Scope Taxonomic Scope Access

Body mass

Body mass
PanTHERIA: a species-level database of life history, ecology, and geography of extant and recently extinct mammals
PanTHERIA is a species-level data set compiled for analysis of life history, ecology, and geography of all known extant and recently extinct mammals. PanTHERIA is derived from a database holding multiple geo-referenced values for variables within a species containing 100740 lines of biological data for extant and recently extinct mammalian species, collected over a period of three years by 20 individuals. PanTHERIA also includes spatial databases of mammalian geographic ranges and global climatic and anthropogenic variables. This dataset provides a useful source of information on traits like size, diet, environmental conditions, and ecology to permit macroecological and macroevolutionary analyses of this important clade.
Global, not applicable
Reference data
Mammals

Migratory behavior

Migratory species distributions
Global Register of Migratory Species
The Global Register of Migratory Species (GROMS) summarizes our state of knowledge about migratory species. GROMS was build to support the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) scientific and conservational requirements. It contains observations for seasonal migrations for a wide variety of animals, such as grazing mammals, bats, whales and dolphins, seals, birds, turtles, fish and insects. The number of migratory species can only be estimated around 5,000 species, including approximately 1,000 fish species. The current Global Register of Migratory Species contains a first list of 2,880 migratory vertebrate species in digital format, together with their threat status according to the International Red List 2000, and digital maps for circa 800 species.
Global, point data
Reference period
Animals

Phenology

Phenophase
National Phenology Network Database
The National Phenology Database (USA-NPN) includes automated up-to-date summary metrics of the data found in the current year and past time periods. An "observation" includes the entire suite of phenophase status records taken for an individual plant or animal species on a given date/time; a single observation may contain up to 12 phenophase status records depending on the species. The database also includes the Start of Spring indicator, which reflects the accumulation of heat sufficient to initiate leafing and flowering in temperature-sensitive plants. The Start of Spring indicator is calculated and validated using data and models curated by the USA-NPN, including observations of plant leaf-out and flowering collected via Nature's Notebook.
U.S., point data
2010-2016, daily
Plants & animals

Physiological traits

Physiological traits
Plant Trait Database
The Plant Trait Database (TRY) provides a global scale harmonized database on functional plant traits that contains more than 5 million trait records for 1,100 traits of 2.2 million individual plants, representing 100,000 plant species. About halve of the data are geo-referenced, providing a global coverage of more than 12,000 measurement sites.. Plant traits – the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants and their organs – determine how primary producers respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, influence ecosystem processes and services and provide a link from species richness to ecosystem functional diversity. Trait data thus represent the raw material for a wide range of research from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology to biogeography.
Global, point data
Reference period
Plants


Taxonomic diversity

Measurement and scalability Temporal sensitivity Feasibility Relevance and related CBD 2020 targets
Multi-taxa surveys (including by morphospecies) and metagenomics at selected in situ locations at consistent sampling scales over time. Hyper-spectral remote sensing over large ecosystems
5-10 years
Many intensive long-term research sites have excellent but uncoordinated data, and there are abundant baseline data for many locations in the terrestrial, marine and freshwater realms. Metagenomics and the possibilities of remote sensing are emerging fields This is a basic measure of interaction of species: what species live together. It is the basis of comunity classification and ecosystem health assessments. Functional type composition of the ecosystem is often derived from species composition of observed communities. Targets: 8, 10, 12, 14


Species interactions

Measurement and scalability Temporal sensitivity Feasibility Relevance and related CBD 2020 targets
Studies of important interactions or interaction networks in selected communities, such as plant-bird seed dispersal systems
5-25 years
Some studies have monitored the structure of species interaction networks such as mutualistic networks (pollination and seed dispersal), soil food webs, host-parasite and herbivore-plant interactions. There is a lack of global or regional representativeness of these studies Global change is affecting species interactions, which are determinant in ecosystem functioning and services. Targets: 7, 9, 14, 15



EBV Metric Name Conceptual definition Spatial Scope Temporal Scope Taxonomic Scope Access

Disturbance regime

Thermal anomalies
MODIS/Aqua+Terra Thermal Anomalies/Fire locations
The Near Real-Time (NRT) dataset, developed from MODIS, represent thermal anomalies used as a surrogate for active fire present at the center of a 1km pixel using the Fire and Thermal Anomalies algorithm developed by Giglio (2003). This is the most basic fire product in which active fires and other thermal anomalies, such as volcanoes, are identified. Thermal anomalies representing active fires present at the center of a 1km pixel.
Global, 1 km
2000-2016, daily
n/a
Thermal anomalies
VIIRS I-Band, Active Fire Data Product
Developed from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (S-NPP/VIIRS), the Near Real-Time (NRT) Active Fire detection product is improved over previos products and is well suited to support of fire management (e.g., near real-time alert systems), as well as other science applications requiring improved fire mapping fidelity. It complements the baseline S-NPP/VIIRS 750 m data, which was originally designed to provide continuity to the existing 1 km EOS/MODIS active fire data record.
Global, 375 m
2000-2016, daily
n/a

Net Primary Productivity

Net Primary Productivity

MODIS/Terra Net Primary Production Yearly L4 V006
The Net Primary Productivity is the difference between the rate at which vegetation in an ecosystem take in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis (gross primary production) minus the rate at which carbon dioxide that is lost from the metabolic activity (respiration).
Global, 500 x 500 m
2000-2014, yearly

n/a

Gross Primary Productivity

MODIS/TERRA Gross Primary Productivity 8-Day L4 V006
Gross primary production (GPP) is the amount of chemical energy as biomass that primary producers create in a given length of time. GPP is sometimes confused with Gross Primary productivity, which is the rate at which photosynthesis or chemosynthesis occurs. The MOD17A2H version 6 Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) product is a cumulative composite based on the radiation-use efficiency concept that can be potentially used as inputs to data models to calculate terrestrial energy, carbon, water cycle processes, and biogeochemistry of vegetation.
Global, 500 x 500 m
2000-2016, every 8 days

n/a

Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation

Global 10-daily SPOT-VEGETATION Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation
Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) corresponds to the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by the canopy. The FAPAR value results directly from the radiative transfer model in the canopy which is computed instantaneously. It depends on canopy structure, vegetation element optical properties and illumination conditions. FAPAR is very useful as input to a number of primary productivity models which run at the daily time step.
Global, 1 x 1 km
1998-2014, every 10 days

n/a

Leaf Area Index
Global 10-daily SPOT-VEGETATION Leaf Area Index
The Leaf Area Index (LAI) is defined as half the total area of green elements of the canopy per unit horizontal ground area. The satellite-derived value corresponds to the total green LAI of all the canopy layers, including the understory which may represent a very significant contribution, particularly for forests. Practically, the LAI quantifies the thickness of the vegetation cover. LAI is also recognized as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).
Global, 1 x 1 km
1998-2014, every 10 days

n/a

Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
MODIS/Terra Vegetation Indices L3 V006
The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is an index of plant "greenness" or photosynthetic activity, and is one of the most commonly used vegetation indices. NDVI is calculated as: near-infrared radiation minus visible radiation divided by near-infrared radiation plus visible radiation.
Global, 250 x 250 m
2000-2016, every 16 days

n/a

Secondary productivity

Livestock
The Gridded Livestock of the World Project
Produced in Environmental Systems Research Institute provides data for grid format for livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens. The map values are derived from official census and survey data. Reported statistics are then processed using a combination of suitability masking and spatial disaggregation by statistical modelling of livestock densities based on empirical relationships between livestock densities and environmental variables in similar agro-ecological zones. Livestock distribution data give an estimation of production; they evaluate impact (both of and on livestock) by applying a variety of rates; and they provide the denominator in prevalence and incidence estimates for epidemiological applications, and the host distributions for transmission models.
Global, 5 x 5 km
Reference period 2005

Animals



EBV Metric Name Conceptual definition Spatial Scope Temporal Scope Taxonomic Scope Access

Ecosystem extent

Forest change
Global Forest Change (v1.2)
Developed from LANDSAT archive it characterizes forest extent and change, where trees are defined as vegetation taller than 5m in height and are expressed as a percentage per output grid cell as Percent Tree Cover. Forest cover loss is defined as a stand-replacement disturbance, or a change from a forest to non-forest state, during the period 2000 to 2014. Forest Cover Gain is defined as the inverse of loss, or a non-forest to forest change entirely within the period 2000 to 2012. Forest Loss Year is a disaggregation of total Forest Loss to annual time scales.
Global, 30 x 30 m
2000-2014, yearly
n/a
Land cover
Global Land Cover Maps Epochs (MERIS & SPOT)
Land cover is the observed bio-physical cover on the earth's surface. The product builds on the FAO/UNEP Land Cover Classification System for the sake of compatibility.
Global, 300 x 300 m
1998-2012, every 5 years
n/a
Global Water Bodies
Global Map of Open Pemanent Water Bodies (ENVISAT-ASAR, v4.0)
The Global Map of Open Pemanent Water Bodies (CCI-LC WB) dataset provides a geospatial information for open and permanent water bodies (inland water and oceans) and is the result of a land/water classification based on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, combined with the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Water Body data (SWBD) and MERIS data. Static map of open water bodies at 150 m spatial resolution resulting from a compilation and editions of land/water classifications: the Envisat ASAR water bodies indicator, a sub-dataset from the Global Forest Change 2000 - 2012 and the Global Inland Water product.
Global, 300 x 300 m
Single time slice for 2005-2010 period
n/a
Ecosystem extent
Global Ecological Land Units
Provides a Earth stratification into physically distinct areas with their associated land cover using a geospatial combination of four input layers (bioclimate, landform, lithology, and land cover) to produce a single raster datalayer where every cell represented a unique combination of the four inputs. Following the production of the foundational raster datalayer, a data reduction step was undertaken to reduce the large number of combinations produced from the union of the input datalayers.
Global, 250 x 250 m
Not applicable
n/a

Land cover

Land cover
Global Land cover
A Global Land Cover (GLC) product, built on the LANDSAT archive using an approach based on the integration of pixel- and object-based methods with knowledge (POK). To handle the classification process of 10 land cover types, a split-and-merge strategy was employed. For the identification of each class, a integration of pixel-and object-based classification was developed. Finally, to improve the quality of the classification results, a knowledge-based interactive verification procedure was developed with the support of web service technology. The performance of the POK-based approach was tested using eight selected areas with differing landscapes from five different continents and an overall classification accuracy of over 80% was achieved, which indicates that the developed POK-based approach is effective and feasible for operational GLC mapping at 30 m resolution.
Global, 30 x 30 m
Reference period
n/a