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iEcology: harnessing large online resources to generate ecological insights


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Jaric, I, Correia, RA, Brook, BW ORCID: 0000-0002-2491-1517, Buettel, JC ORCID: 0000-0001-6737-7468, Courchamp, F, Di Minin, E, Firth, JA, Gaston, KJ, Jepson, P, Kalinkat, G, Ladle, R, Soriano-Redondo, A, Souza, AT and Roll, U 2020 , 'iEcology: harnessing large online resources to generate ecological insights' , Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 35, no. 7 , pp. 630-639 , doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2020.03.003.

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators: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
Keywords: ecological knowledge, informatics, big data, monitoring
Journal or Publication Title: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: Elsevier Science London
ISSN: 0169-5347
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.tree.2020.03.003
Copyright Information:

© 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 (

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