Christmas has come early!

It’s the time for giving and here at the BCCVL we make no exception. We’ve developed 12 new and improved features to coincide with the 12 days of Christmas! However, we’re a little too impatient to give them out one-by-one, so here they are in one big release…

The new things:

1) All new Species Trait Modelling Experiment and data!
Used to model the response of species traits to environmental conditions and differences in traits amongst species. We also have a live feed to TERNs AEKOS trait database. We’ll have a few case studies on this experiment published on our support site soon!

2) One-click data push from ALA to the BCCVL
We’ve collaborated with the Atlas of Living Australia to provide the ability to find, filter and clean occurrence data in the ALA Spatial Portal and push this directly to the BCCVL ready for use in your models (screenshot below)! This integration promotes good data practices and will encourage more robust model outputs. Read more here.


3) Investigate hotspot maps in all new visualisation tool
We’ve built a whole new way to visualise Biodiverse results (screenshot below)! In your Biodiverse results you will see a new ‘Biodiverse Visualisation’ tab. Through this new interactive visualisation you are better able to find out what species, or group of species are driving hotspots within your community. We’ll have a few case studies on this experiment published on our support site soon!


4) Best-practice model design
We now constrain your SDM by automatically generating a convex hull based on your occurrence data (screenshot below) – this is particularly important when generating pseudo-absence points.


5) Summary datasets tag!
New data tag that allows you to filter the dataset list to show only summary datasets, these are the most commonly used datasets in SDMs.

 

6) Published SDM API
Published public web service API to access Species Distribution Modelling capability. See our Coesra use case that began this work.

7) Conservation Planning Library Results
To allow for easier analysis of SDM results in other conservation planning tools (e.g. Marxan or ArcGIS) we have built in a few extra results:

A constrained projection map and an unconstrained projection map (both in .geotiff format)

 

Occurrence & environment file and (pseudo)absence & environment file (both in .csv format)

 

8) All new popular NVIS dataset
The National Vegetation Information System (NVIS) is a comprehensive data system that provides information on the extent and distribution of vegetation types in Australian landscapes. Requested by many members of our Scientific Advisory Committee as well as a number of users we’ve now integrated it in the BCCVL and it’s ready to be used in your models! Read more about the dataset here.

The improved things:

9) Added ALA multispecies data import

10) Access to data portal and training page (including our Online Open Course in SDM) without having to log in

The fixed things:

11) Biodiverse thresholding fix – thresholds now come from new SDM evaluation statistics.

12) Better error handling – so if something goes wrong we can pretty quickly find out why!

The things to come!

Freshwater modelling

A big part of the last 6 months has been preparing the BCCVL for freshwater modelling. We’ve been integrating the Geofabric digital database which identifies the spatial relationships of important hydrological features such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, dams, canals and catchments. Along with the Geofabric information system, we’ve also connected to the National Environmental Stream Attributes database that includes predictor variables across climate, terrain, substrate, vegetation etc. for the Geofabric vector-based hydrological features. To complete this we’re working with Associate Professor Mark Kennard from Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University.

Migratory species modelling

One feature we get asked about a lot is the ability to model species distributions for specific months or seasons. So, we’ve set it as a goal to tackle early next year and we’ve recruited a team to assist us in getting this right, including working with theZoaTrack team.

BCCVL Advanced

Something for our more R-savvy users. BCCVL Advanced brings all the computational power and all the data access but through a familiar R studio interface (instead of our point-and-click interface).

A bit of news…

The BCCVL was awarded the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) Technical Excellence award for Queensland.

SIBA is the leading association representing the Spatial Industries. Together with the Surveying and Spatial Science Institute (SSSI) they host the annual Spatial Excellence Awards celebrating the successes within the industry. The awards recognise outstanding achievements for both individuals and organisations engaged in spatial information across Australia. The Technical Excellence award focuses specifically on excellence in applying existing technology and overcoming significant technical challenges to implement spatial solutions of an exceptional high standard.

The BCCVL was recognised for its integration of existing modelling tools and datasets with high performance computers and major data storage facilities that enable efficient investigation of biological systems now and into the future.

 

Don’t forget about our workshop program

We have developed two different workshop programs aimed at advancing both academic, industry and student knowledge in biodiversity and climate impact modelling. These workshops have been run across a number of different universities and government institutions with great success.

If you would be interested in hosting one of these workshops for your team or students then please get in contact with Sarah Richmond at support@bccvl.org.auWe supply you with all the content and resources required!

Academic and Industry
In the first half of this workshop participants will use the ALA Spatial Portal to learn about key features, data quality issues, environmental layers and simple but powerful tools like scatterplots to get a better understanding of taxa-environment relationships. They will then take what they have learnt in the ALA to the BCCVL to explore the basic elements of species distribution models and climate change projections, including the data required to run the models, the differences across various model algorithms and how to appropriately interpret and evaluate the results of model outputs. Using the BCCVL, workshop participants will access national datasets to run a species distribution model and then project the results into the future using a climate change projection under a number of different emission scenarios. No complex coding/statistical knowledge is required.

Of interest to: students, environmental/climate scientists and researchers, ecologists, decision-makers, members of government and industry groups, and anyone with a keen interest in conservation and climate impacts.

Undergraduate
Students in this workshop will learn the basic elements of species distribution models and climate change projections, including the data required to run the models, the differences across various model algorithms and how to appropriately interpret and evaluate model outputs. Using the BCCVL, students will access national datasets to run a species distribution model and then project the results into the future using a climate change projection under a number of different emission scenarios. Students will then practice their ‘elevator pitch’ by presenting their results and subsequent conservation/management strategies to the class in a 3-slides in 3-minutes style presentation. No complex coding/statistical knowledge is required.

Of interest to: students studying ecology, environmental science, sustainability, climate change impacts, biology, flora and fauna, animal behaviour, planning and development, conservation, statistics etc.

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