Towards a macroscope : leveraging technology to transform the breadth, scale and resolution of macroecological data
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The problem Earth‐based observations of the biosphere are spatially biased in ways that can limit our ability to detect macroecological patterns and changes in biodiversity. To resolve this problem, we need to supplement the ad hoc data currently collected with planned biodiversity monitoring, in order to approximate global stratified random sampling of the planet. We call this all‐encompassing observational system ‘the macroscope’. The solution With a focus on the marine realm, we identify seven main biosphere observation tools that compose the macroscope: satellites, drones, camera traps, passive acoustic samplers, biologgers, environmental DNA and human observations. By deploying a nested array of these tools that fills current gaps in monitoring, we can achieve a macroscope fit for purpose and turn these existing powerful tools into more than the sum of their parts. An appeal Building a macroscope requires commitment from many fields, together with coordinated actions to attract the level of funding required for such a venture. We call on macroecologists to become advocates for the macroscope and to engage with existing global observation networks.
Dornelas , M , Madin , E M P , Bunce , M , DiBattista , J D , Johnson , M , Madin , J S , Magurran , A E , McGill , B J , Pettorelli , N , Pizarro , O , Williams , S B , Winter , M & Bates , A E 2019 , ' Towards a macroscope : leveraging technology to transform the breadth, scale and resolution of macroecological data ' , Global Ecology and Biogeography , vol. 28 , no. 12 , pp. 1937-1948 . https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13025
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Copyright © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13025
DescriptionM.D. is grateful for support from the Templeton Foundation (grant #60501, “Putting the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis to the Test”) and from a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship.
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