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iEcology: harnessing large online resources to generate ecological insights


Jaric, I and Correia, RA and Brook, BW and Buettel, JC and Courchamp, F and Di Minin, E and Firth, JA and Gaston, KJ and Jepson, P and Kalinkat, G and Ladle, R and Soriano-Redondo, A and Souza, AT and Roll, U, iEcology: harnessing large online resources to generate ecological insights, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 35, (7) pp. 630-639. ISSN 0169-5347 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.tree.2020.03.003


Digital data are accumulating at unprecedented rates. These contain a lot of information about the natural world, some of which can be used to answer key ecological questions. Here, we introduce iEcology (i.e., internet ecology), an emerging research approach that uses diverse online data sources and methods to generate insights about species distribution over space and time, interactions and dynamics of organisms and their environment, and anthropogenic impacts. We review iEcology data sources and methods, and provide examples of potential research applications. We also outline approaches to reduce potential biases and improve reliability and applicability. As technologies and expertise improve, and costs diminish, iEcology will become an increasingly important means to gain novel insights into the natural world.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ecological knowledge, informatics, big data, monitoring
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
UTAS Author:Buettel, JC (Dr Jessie Buettel)
ID Code:144156
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FL160100101)
Web of Science® Times Cited:57
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2021-04-26
Last Modified:2021-05-05
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