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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 316:225-230 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps316225

MedOBIS: biogeographic information system for the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea

C. Arvanitidis1,*, V. D. Valavanis1, A. Eleftheriou1, M. J. Costello2, S. Faulwetter1, P. Gotsis1, M. S. Kitsos3, I. Kirmtzoglou3, A. Zenetos4, A. Petrov5, B. Galil6, N. Papageorgiou1

1Institute of Marine Biology and Genetics, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, PO Box 2214, Iraklion, 71003 Crete, Greece
2Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland, PO Box 349, Warkworth, New Zealand
3School of Biology, Laboratory of Zoology, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, 51424 Thessaloniki, Greece
4Institute of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, PO Box 712, Anavyssos, 19013 Attiki, Greece
5Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas, Sevastopol 99011, Ukraine
6National Institute of Oceanography, Oceanographic and Limnological Research, PO Box 8030, Haifa 31081, Israel

ABSTRACT: Recent online initiatives in sharing marine biological data, such as the European Register of Marine Species (ERMS) and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), identified gaps in data from the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. Such data are now being collected, formatted and disseminated by MedOBIS (the Mediterranean Ocean Biogeographic Information System) initiative involving Greece, the Ukraine and Israel (test version available at: The aim is to develop a taxon-based biogeography database and online data server with links to survey and satellite environmental data. MedOBIS is currently undergoing 4 stages of development, namely, data assembly, formatting, analysis and dissemination. The primary features of the MedOBIS application are its offline GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data formatting capabilities and its online Java- and JavaScript-enabling data server with taxon-based search, mapping and data downloading capabilities. It is an independent source of biological and environmental data, as well as an online GIS tool designed to facilitate access to historical and current data by marine researchers. As more data become available and are inserted into the system, MedOBIS will function as the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea node of EurOBIS (the European node of the international OBIS initiative, part of the ‘Census of Marine Life’).

KEY WORDS: Marine biodiversity · Data management · GIS · OBIS

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