Our Use Cases
The use case projects are a joint effort of the partners who contribute to the projects, business and technical experts from the consortium, and coordinating project staff, our use case managers.
If you have any questions about the use cases, please send us a message using the contact form and we will forward it to the appropriate contact person(s).
Use Case Managers
List of all Use Case (A-Z)
If you are looking for a specific pilot project, you can use the filter and search function above the tiles at the top of this page.
AlgaTerra – Information system for microalgae
The AlgaTerra Information System links research data from natural history collections and clone cultures with molecular sequences of microalgae. NFDI4Biodiversity's use case project is about enabling the reuse of AlgaTerra's taxon-based factual knowledge through tools and services of cloud-based metabarcoding analysis. The AlgaTerra Information System contains curated data on scientific names, synonyms, and taxon concepts of diatoms (diatoms). Molecular and ecological as well as taxonomic information is presented within a data portal. Enriched by light- as well as scanning electron microscopic images of diatoms from research projects and the German Barcode of Life project (incidentally another NFDI4Biodiversity Use Case project), the collected data are made available for scientific and conservation reuse.
AMMOD – A "Weather Station for Biodiversity"
In the Automated Multisensor Stations for Monitoring of BioDiversity (AMMOD) project, stations are being developed for automatic sampling of the environment. Similar to weather monitoring, the occurrence of various species is to be continuously recorded and evaluated here. The sensors automatically collect acoustic, visual and olfactory data as well as insects, pollen and spores. The aim of the use case project is to establish interoperability between AMMOD and NFDI4Biodiversity for the data collected in this way, to ensure the integration of further data (such as historical data or climate and traffic data) and citizen science project data, and to enable comprehensive (interaction) analyses. Furthermore, requirement catalogs for monitoring will be developed and the harmonization of components (development of thesauri and ontologies) will be implemented.
Arachnological Society – ARAMOB
The Atlas of Arachnids of Europe of the Arachnologische Gesellschaft e.V. (AraGes) contains more than 2.7 million records of arachnid species; the arachnological database ARAMOB more than 80,000 species-specific study records. These data should be brought into NFDI4Biodiversity to make them available in larger contexts and to be able to link them to other types of data (geospatial data, ground data, media). AraGes would like to see a permanent solution for the data management of professional societies and museums as well as a broad public availability of its own data. The main aim is to improve the data situation, among other things by offering data publication in the association's journal, the creation of a data management plan for the AraGes and the further development of arachnologically relevant thesauri and management tools in the working database Diversity Workbench. In addition, linking with other professional societies in NFDI4BioDiversity will help improve citizen scientist reporting to the atlas database, e.g., records of arachnid species in Europe with habitat information and facilitate data delivery from scientists to the ARAMOB ecological database.
CRITTERBASE – Information system for marine organisms
CRITTERBASE is a platform that manages marine biodiversity data and makes it available to users. It was developed by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB). The task of CRITTERBASE is to make data from many different sources jointly and directly usable in one information system. Core criteria are a comprehensive data model (diversity of methods), rigorous quality control of all data, an up-to-date taxonomy, attractiveness of use for data suppliers, provision of a convenient interface for data users, traceable development through archiving in PANGAEA, and compliance with FAIR principles. Connecting CRITTERBASE to the cloud-based data infrastructure being developed in NFDI4Biodiversity - the Research Data Commons (RDC) - will help make CRITTERBASE the core of at least a national information system for marine organism data. Currently, the fragmented data management of many institutions is an obstacle here; this is to be overcome with NFDI4Biodiversity.
Umbrella Organization of German Avifaunists – Native bird species
The Umbrella Organization of German Avifaunists (DDA) is the federation of all state-wide and many regional ornithological associations in Germany. It advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and corresponding institutions of the federal states on technical issues concerning the conservation and protection of native biodiversity. Together with actors in biodiversity research, the DDA carries out scientific projects; to fulfill its association's purposes, it also organizes and coordinates nationwide monitoring to record breeding and resting birds and operates the online portal ornitho.de. In total, more than 50,000 volunteers provide more than 10 million observation data annually for the aforementioned purposes.
The goal of the use case is to make these extensive DDA data sets on bird species distribution and abundance usable for the NFDI, link them to other data sets, connect them to the common NFDI infrastructure, and make them visible to the research community as well as the public.
DNAquaNet – DNA-based water monitoring
DNAquaNet is a European network for research on DNA-based monitoring of freshwater ecosystems. Genetic methods are a useful extension for aquatic monitoring: Based on environmental DNA (eDNA), i.e. DNA traces in water, living organisms can be identified quickly, cheaply and comprehensively. DNAquaNet members, in particular the University of Duisburg-Essen, have hundreds of these DNA and eDNA metabarcoding datasets. These provide valuable information about biotic communities, but have so far played a role almost exclusively in research. It would be conceivable to use them for biodiversity monitoring in the future. Lack of data and analysis standards are currently key challenges. By participating in NFDI4Biodiversity, DNAquaNet would like to offer its solution approaches and intuitive software tools more broadly in the professional community beyond the scientific community.
eLTER – Network for Long-Term Ecological Observations
In collaboration with the European infrastructure eLTER, biodiversity datasets from long-term ecological monitoring will be fed into the cloud-based data infrastructure being worked on in NFDI4Biodiversity - the Research Data Commons (RDC). The integration of the German eLTER sites into NFDI4Biodiversity will allow data to be exchanged with little effort with the eLTER via NFDI4Biodiversity as the national node. The combinability of the high quality data collected over long periods of time with other data sources will also allow other NFDI4Biodiversity partners to benefit. The basic objectives of the use case are stated in terms of FAIR principles: Data must be discoverable, accessible, linkable, and reusable. In this respect, the eLTER use case serves the better understanding of biodiversity dynamics and the unified handling of metadata on a European level.
German Barcode of Life (GBOL)
In the project German Barcode of Life (GBOL), marker genes that allow identification of organisms are recorded in reference libraries of all organisms in the world. The databases to date are largely established and 50-60 percent complete. In the third phase of the project, which is now underway, the so-called dark taxa are being recorded. Metadata about the specimens and the sequences are stored in relational database systems. Collection data management systems such as DiversityWorkbench will be used to manage and update the information. ABCD-GGBN standard is used as the exchange format. All data are accessible through the Canadian Barcode of Life Data System. Taxonomic checklists (including Red List and Fauna-Flora-Habitat species) have been integrated to date. Search results are downloadable as CSV files in the GBOL portal. The use case project has several ambitious goals: First, GBOL data will be connected to the cloud-based data infrastructure - the Research Data Commons (RDC) - of NFDI4Biodiversity. Also planned are an interface for taxonomy checklists at different levels with Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive and Red List categories, the extension of the GBOL IT infrastructure to include trait data, and an extension of the GBOL portal and IT infrastructure to include species identification functions (e.g. citizen science projects).
Society of German-speaking Odonatologists – Native dragonfly species
The Society of German-speaking Odonatologists (GdO) has more than 1.8 million species-specific data points on the distribution of the 81 dragonfly species recorded in Germany (as of 2021). Data collection, quality assurance and data management are carried out at the level of the federal states, with the reporters mainly working on a voluntary basis. Coordination is partly carried out by the state nature conservation administration (for example in Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony and Bavaria), partly by voluntary working groups (for example in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg). In some federal states, individuals and several regional groups are also responsible (for example, in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). The data is constantly updated in all federal states, and the reports are quality-assured - a true treasure trove of data for practical nature conservation. However, due to the decentralized data storage, it is not possible to access the entire data stock - neither as a data producer nor as a data user. NFDI4Biodiversity is working on simplifying access. As a first concrete product that illustrates the added value of a comprehensive access, a data portal demonstrator was developed - a tool that allows the visualization of dragonfly data throughout Germany.
Find a detailed portrait of this use case here.
Society for Ichthyology – Atlas of fish species
The Society for Ichthyology (GfI) is an association of fishologists from science, fishery and aquaristics. Since 1995, the GfI has been working to promote the scientific study of fish and to provide a German-language forum for information, communication and publication in the field of fish science. Since 2003, the GfI, together with the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, has maintained the Fish Species Atlas for Germany, Austria and the Wadden Sea, which contains more than 100,000 records on the distribution of all regional freshwater and marine fish species. GfI is keen to share its extensive knowledge on the occurrence of the different fish species in order to contribute to their further research and protection. The goal of the collaboration in NFDI4Biodiversity is to also make the data and tools (e.g., the data entry option via app as well as data visualizations) accessible to a broad user community from science, administration and environmental education and to connect them to global databases.
Find a detailed portrait of this use case here.
IÖR-Monitor – Visualization of settlement and open space development
The Monitor of Settlement and Open Space Development (IOER Monitor) is a research data infrastructure of the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Spatial Development (IOER), which is based on the combined processing of official geobasis, geospecialist and statistical data. From these data, 85 so-called indicators are derived, which in turn are subdivided into 14 thematic categories, including for example settlement, open space or transport. In a map viewer, land use, land cover and landscape quality as well as their changes can be displayed spatially, temporally and thematically in high resolution for Germany. "Land use changes are a basis for biodiversity, climate, sustainability and Earth system research," says Gotthard Meinel, head of the Spatial Information and Modeling research area at IÖR, about his motivation to participate in NFDI4Biodiversity. The goal is to integrate the data from the IOER Monitor into NFDI4Biodiversity. Other biodiversity data, for example on the occurrence of animal and plant species, could then be linked with data on soil types, sealing or settlement of land areas and put into perspective over different time periods in order to gain new insights into the drivers of biodiversity. In addition, the IOER would like to raise awareness of its data offering and is interested in receiving feedback on the functionalities of the IOER Monitor.
Find a detailed portrait of this use case here.
Hessian State Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG)
The use case project of the Hessian State Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG) is one of three NFDI4Biodiversity application projects with state agencies. Together with the Saxony-Anhalt State Office for Environmental Protection (LAU), the Saxony State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG)) and Naturgucker.de, HLNUG aims to promote data exchange among themselves and with other nature conservation stakeholders and biodiversity data owners. The focus is on the MultibaseCS collection software, which is used by many official nature conservation actors in Germany beyond the state offices. Within the framework of NFDI4Biodiversity, existing interfaces will be updated and, if necessary, new interfaces between MultibaseCS and the cloud-based data infrastructure of NFDI4Biodiversity – the Research Data Commons (RDC) – will be created. On the one hand, this will open up new data sources and promote interconnection between existing data sources. As a first step for this improved bidirectional data exchange, intensive work is currently being done on the development of minimum data standards.
Hydrographr – Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)
The Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) is the largest nationwide and one of the leading international research centers for inland waters. The IGB's vision is to understand all fundamental processes in water bodies and their biotic communities, including their biodiversity, ecosystem services and responses to global change.
In NFDI4Biodiversity, a team at the IGB is working to develop a tool that simplifies the processing of large amounts of data on rivers: Hydrographr. The background to the development is that river ecosystems are extremely complex to analyze due to their both lateral and longitudinal connectivity with the landscape. At first glance, it may seem unproblematic to assign a species record, such as fish, dragonflies or plants, to a specific river section. In individual cases, this may be true – but when it comes to thousands or millions of observations, even computers quickly reach their limits. Compared to terrestrial and marine habitats, the biodiversity of freshwaters has therefore not yet been sufficiently researched in terms of its ecological significance and specificity – which often leads to a lack of protective measures at both regional and global level.
Hydrographr therefore aims to provide researchers with simple functions to process the often large amounts of data in an uncomplicated and faster way.
Insects Saxony – Current and historical insect data
The project Insects Saxony started in the Year of Biodiversity 2010 and is dedicated to the study of native insects. It aims to provide knowledge about the insects found in Saxony and invites interested parties to participate in their research. Insects Saxony offers data on insect observations as well as photos to verify species identification. Furthermore, historical data from collections and literature and current data in species-specific maps are provided. The project is interested in enabling the use of these data by a broader public and providing a service for entomologists to make their data visible and usable. The use case project in NFDI4Biodiversity therefore aims to improve the standardization of the data structure and to facilitate and automate data sharing. Furthermore, it should be possible to use data relevant to the project from other sources.
Saxony-Anhalt State Office for Environmental Protection (LAU)
The State Office for Environmental Protection (LAU) has species databases for all relevant taxa, animal species data (MultiBaseCS databases), plant species (WinArt databases), and flora-fauna-habitat habitat types (BioLRT databases).v
Together with the Hessian State Agency for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG) and the Saxon State Agency for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG)) and Naturgucker.de, the networking of official structures among each other and with the NFDI4Biodiversity network will be (further) developed. At the center of these use cases is the biodiversity data collection software MultibaseCS, which is used beyond the state offices by many official nature conservation actors in Germany. The LAU - together with the other state offices and Naturgucker.de - is interested in developing cross-state data protection-compliant standards and workflows to simplify data exchange. In this way, access to new data sources (e.g. citizen science projects) should be created, but also official data should be made more easily available to interested users.
Living Atlas of the Nature of Germany
In Germany, anyone who wants to find out which species occur on their own doorstep does not yet have a central point of contact for information – unless, of course, they go out into nature themselves and take a look. But that requires time and a certain knowledge of the species. A simpler option is the Living Atlas of Nature Germany developed in NFDI4Biodiversity, which brings together species observations from different sources in a common online portal.
Users can search for any plant, animal or fungus species and filter them according to various criteria, such as location or year. The species observations are then located on a map of Germany, but can also be displayed as a list or image gallery. It is also possible to view and download the underlying data sets. Furthermore, in the section "Selected datasets", individual datasets that can be found via the atlas are presented in the form of blog articles in order to increase the visibility of the data and the partner institutions contributing them.
Find a detailed portrait of this use case here.
Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) – Spatial Visualizations
The use case project with the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) is about the development of spatial visualizations for the communication of biodiversity data to different user groups. Questions of data transparency, possibilities of data interpretation as well as different communication goals (degree of abstraction and reduction of complexity) are taken into account. In this respect, the IfL does not contribute data, but competences in the so-called geovisualization. The IfL is a partner of NFDI4Biodiversity because the methodological interests of researchers in geovisualization often also apply to biodiversity data, such as dealing with uncertainties and incompleteness in the data and communicating them transparently, as well as combining different data sets and content. Furthermore, the IfL would like to establish geovisualizations more strongly as a means of research. To this end, it enables their use for new research questions and findings.
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)
The use case project of the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) is about data on the genetic diversity of crop plants. The main goal of the project is to store and analyze molecular passport data of plant genetic resources in the Research Data Commons (RDC), the cloud-based data infrastructure being created in NFDI4Biodiversity. The molecular passport data ("diversity matrix") of selected accessions of the IPK genebank will be transformed into a data structure so that it can be stored in the RDC infrastructure and used as a basis for analyses. For example, a user has a "diversity vector" of a genotype of interest to him/her and searches for the most phylogenetically similar genebank material originating from a particular geographic region or possessing certain characteristics. In the course of this work, concepts for tool conservation and reusability have already been published using the example of a developed imputation tool. In addition, the IPK contributes to NFDI4Biodiversity by providing expertise in research data management and software development as well as in setting up and operating IT infrastructures. The services offered by IPK will be operated within the consortium beyond the project funding.
Bavarian Forest National Park
In our use case Bavarian Forest National Park, we are working to develop an information system for terrestrial geo-referenced multitaxon records that combines multiple applications and services to facilitate technical assessment of the state of biodiversity. Multitaxon data are data that refer to many species occurring in a given area, rather than just one. They are collected in forest ecosystems along an 800-meter elevation and structural gradient to understand change in biodiversity. Data are collected using a variety of methods through insect traps, photo cameras, high boxes, and batcorders. In addition, environmental factors such as microclimate and forest structure will be recorded.
In this use case project, solutions for data storage will be developed from which other national park administrations can also benefit – with the goal to make the valuable long-term data available to other interested parties, for example researchers. In the course of this, a concept for long-term archiving will also be developed.
It has already been possible to provide the Bavarian Forest National Park with an instance of the BEXIS2 software for data collection and standardization. Supporting a wide range of data types and structures, this service is ideally suited for systematically merging existing and emerging data sets in the national park. The data management system is a good starting point for the National Park to develop a process for long-term archiving of data as a next step. Furthermore, the National Park is working with the State Archives of Bavaria, whose general directorate is also a use case partner of the NFDI4Biodiversity network, to implement a long-term archiving concept for data from the BIOKLIM project.
Find a detailed portrait of this use case here.
Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park – Data from National Natural Landscapes
The Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park operates a joint research server for the National Natural Landscapes in order to provide the interested professional public with information on activities, projects, publications and available data for four national parks so far (Hunsrück-Hochwald, Hainich, Black Forest and Eifel). Among other things, metadata on studies that have taken place on the territory of the participating national parks are published. However, the majority of the data is held by the research institutions conducting the studies. One goal of the use case project is to make these data available. In addition, data collected by the national parks themselves as part of their research mandate will be made available. In NFDI4Biodiversity, the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park Administration would like to help design interfaces to existing research data systems, integrate information from other organizations' databases into its work, and make its data publicly available. It is also interested in the cloud-based data infrastructure being created in NFDI4Biodiversity - the Research Data Commons - for future data management.
Naturgucker.de – information portal for nature observation
Naturgucker.de ("nature watcher") is the largest information portal for nature observers in Germany. Over 100,000 volunteers participate in the project and contribute more than 13,000,000 observations, including 1,600,000 on plants, 11,400,000 on animals and 160,000 on fungi (as of Sept. 2021). The image inventory includes about 2.4 million images of more than 44,000 species. Naturgucker.de is a strategic partner of NABU for Citizen Science. The data from Naturgucker.de is made available via an infrastructure on the web and via app. The goal of the cooperation in NFDI4Biodiversity is especially to strengthen the connections to other large observation platforms and to enable an improved data exchange. Naturgucker.de is already working closely with three other use case partners on data exchange: the State Offices of Hesse for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG), Saxony for Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LFULG) and Saxony-Anhalt for Environmental Protection (LAU). Here, work is being done on the creation of interfaces between the various platforms and nature conservation actors. In addition, Naturgucker.de would like to use NFDI4Biodiversity to raise awareness of its platform and its many possible uses.
Phytodiversity Network Germany (NetPhyD) – Deutschlandflora
With Deutschlandflora.de, the Phytodiversity Network Germany e.V. (NetPhyD) provides a platform for the collection and evaluation of data on plant species. The association is actively involved in the consolidation of floristic data in Germany. NetPhyD belongs to the citizen science projects and currently contains about 30 million observation data. There are different regional portals that use the infrastructure of Deutschlandflora, whereby each regional portal is and should remain the responsible rights holder of its data. NetPhyD e.V. is looking for support in NFDI4Biodiversity to provide data, with special consideration for sensitive data, such as data on the occurrence of rare species. The association would like to provide distribution maps for its observational data and would like to see stable and regular communication between data collectors in the field and data users in government agencies and academia. In addition, the association is interested in access to cloud computing analyses.
PlantHub (iDiv) – Discovering plant biodiversity data
The aim of the PlantHub is to increase the visibility of research results and biodiversity data at the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and its partner institutions, to promote the exchange of analytical ideas and methods, and to provide non-scientists with exciting access to the world of biodiversity data. To this end, 18 initiatives and collections form the basis of PlantHub, whose diverse information on plant biodiversity will be made accessible, visible, and linked within the iDiv consortium and beyond. The results of these linkages will be made available on an online platform for all interested parties to discover and analyze the data. In the medium term, storage of PlantHub data will run on the Research Data Commons (RDC) – the cloud-based data infrastructure developed in NFDI4Biodiversity. The experience available in NFDI4Biodiversity in building data storage and presentation structures is seen as very helpful in this regard. In return, PlantHub, with its community of closely networked scientists from the iDiv environment and the universities of Leipzig, Jena and Halle, provides ideas for innovative use scenarios for combined data sets and corresponding analyses.
Saxon State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG)
Use Case Saxon State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology (LfULG) is closely related to the other two state office use cases (Saxony-Anhalt State Office for Environmental Protection (LAU) and Hesse State Office for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology (HLNUG)) and Naturgucker.de. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of minimum standards for a simplified bidirectional data exchange between authorities and nature conservation stakeholders. In NFDI4Biodiversity, these standards will be elaborated and developed together with the other state agencies. The main commonality between the use cases is the biodiversity data collection software MultibaseCS, which is used beyond the state offices by many official nature conservation actors in Germany. Based on this software and the developed minimum standards, interfaces are to be (further) developed that significantly simplify and standardize data exchange. Through this process, access to new data sources (e.g. citizen science projects) will be created. Darüber hinaus ist geplant, behördliche Daten so leichter für interessierte Nutzer:innen verfügbar zu machen.
State Archives of Bavaria – Historical Data on Biodiversity
The General Directorate of the State Archives of Bavaria (GDA) is the central authority for archives in Bavaria. Subordinate to it are nine state archives: the Bavarian Main State Archives and the State Archives of Amberg, Augsburg, Bamberg, Coburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Landshut and Würzburg. The Bavarian state archives would like to contribute a variety of historical and current data on biodiversity research to NFDI4Biodiversity, including early descriptions of forestry and agriculture, documents and data collections of modern state administration, such as those of the forestry offices, or current data from agricultural, surveying and environmental administration.
Find a detailed portrait of this use case here.
Thünen-Institut – Monitoring Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes
Agriculture plays an important role in the conservation and promotion of biodiversity: Around 50 percent of Germany's land is used for agriculture. However, there is still a lack of representative and scientifically robust data for this sector that allow statements to be made about changes in land use, agricultural structure and biodiversity and assess the effectiveness of agri-environmental policy support instruments on biodiversity. The nationwide Monitoring of Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes (MonViA) is intended to close this gap in the future. Scientists from the Thünen Institute and the Julius Kühn Institute as well as the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food are developing monitoring programs in a five-year pilot phase (2019-2023) that will provide information on changes in the design of agricultural landscapes as well as on the status and development of functional groups such as pollinators, beneficial insects, pests and soil (micro)organisms In addition, the consortium is designing indicators that are of relevance to agroecosystems and are urgently needed to provide information on changes in agricultural landscapes. As the coordinating institute, the Thünen Institute is committed to an overarching data exchange within the nationwide biodiversity monitoring. The Thünen Institute is also a member of the NFDI consortium FAIRagro, where it contributes an open-source research data platform. This can be used as a reference implementation for FAIR data exchange and will be connected to the Research Data Commons (RDC), the cloud-based infrastructure developed in NFDI4Biodiversity, as part of the use case project. In the future, the data sets collected in MonViA will be stored in the reference implementation of an agricultural atlas used at the Thünen Institute and the results will thus be made available to the public. In case of a continuation of the piloted monitoring programs, a FAIR data flow into the RDC would thus be ensured.