The LifeWatch e-Infrastructure has realised the Phytoplankton Virtual Research Environment (Phyto VRE), a collaborative working environment supporting researches on phytoplankton assemblages and their relative structure, organization and ecological function.
Phytoplankton plays an important role in aquatic ecosystems because it accounts for most of global primary production and affects the biogeochemical processes, trophic dynamics and biodiversity architecture.
To address basic and applied researches on phytoplankton ecology, Phyto VRE provides the IT infrastructure to enable researchers to share and analyse phytoplankton data at a level of resolution from individual cells to whole assemblages, which are generally unharmonised and unavailable as on-line services. Within the Phyto VRE, users will also have access to environmental and climatic data.
The Phyto VRE provides users with a suite of tools and services that will enable them to:
Obtain and share harmonised data on taxonomy and morpho-functional traits by using the Atlas of Phytoplankton, the Atlas of Shapes and the Phytoplankton Traits Thesaurus.
Discover, access, integrate and export both own and other datasets (including additional metadata) held by LifeWatch Data Portal or distributed data centres.
Share and capture workflows, models, algorithms, on-line services and scientific results by orchestrators such as Taverna Workbench (see www.taverna.org.uk), including tutorials to facilitate their reproducibility.
Work together in a real-time environment that fosters the sharing of knowledge overcoming the limitations of traditional working practices e.g. the transfer of large datasets between users or the power of the computational analysis.