Alien and Invasive Species | Virtual Research Environment

An alien species is not native to a specific location, where it arrived accidentally or deliberately. The species can be also invasive, i.e. it may spread to a degree that may cause damage to the environment, economy, and human health.

Serious impact upon biodiversity

Alien invasive species can have serious impact upon biodiversity, including decline or elimination of native species through competition, predation, or transmission of pathogens, and the disruption of local ecosystems and ecosystem functions. It has been estimated that since the 17th century, invasive alien species have contributed to nearly 40% of all animal extinctions for which the cause is known (Convention on Biological Diversity, 2006).

Today, their damage is catalysed by climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and human pressure on ecology. In this regard, the EU regulation 1143/2014 (1 January 2015) on invasive alien species advises a set of measures to be taken across the EU. These include prevention, early detection, and management actions.

Virtual Research Environment

This Virtual Research Environment (VRE) supports decision makers and scientists in predicting the near-future spread of an invasive species (possibly alien) in a new environment. The VRE hosts examples of suitable habitat maps produced for today and 2050 in new areas for more than 11,000 species and provides models and workflows to combine environmental data with species observations in their habitats to predict their future spread.

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VRE Features

One complete experiment

One complete experiment is reported as a use case example in the Forecasting the Pufferfish Invasion VRE's page, that shows how the near-future invasion of the Mediterranean Sea by the silver-cheeked toad-fish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789) was predicted using the offered services. See the related paper.

Data Analytics

A service providing state-of-the art Data Analytics algorithms under the OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) Interface Standard.
Executions can run either on multi-core machines or on different computational platforms, such as D4Science and other different private and commercial Cloud providers.

Spatial Data Catalogue

The catalogue enables the discovery of geospatial data residing in dedicated repositories by relying on a CSW-based service (namely GeoNetwork) and its indexing facilities. A publisher service enables publication of spatial data guaranteeing load balancing and automatic metadata generation.

Geo Explorer

A centralised environment for access to the entire spatial data in a certain domain. It is able to interface to other infrastructure services to expand the number of functionalities and applications to the data under analysis.

Resource Catalogue

Containing resources suitable for and resulting from the services and VREs operated by D4Science serving cases ranging from stock assessment to aquaculture atlas generation, and strategic investment. Datasets include species distribution maps, environmental data, and area regulation zones.

Species Data Discovery

A web application to discover and manage species products (occurrence data and taxa names) from a number of heterogeneous providers (eg.: GBIF, CatalogueOfLife, etc.). Once discovered, objects can be displayed on a map viewer or stored in for future use.

Experiment with the Alien and Invasive Species Virtual Research Environment

Experiment with the Alien and Invasive Species Virtual Research Environment

For more information about the project please visit us at

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