Event Abstract

Biodiversity Warehouse - A new Web-based Fish Atlas of Germany and Austria

  • 1 Bremen University of Applied Sciences, Germany

So far, apart from the species listed in the Habitats Directive, there is no official presentation of the distribution of all fish species all over Germany, where the responsibility for fisheries lies with the federal states. Thus, important basics for biogeographical and ecological questions as well as for protection and management concepts are missing. In a joint initiative of the City University of Applied Sciences Bremen and the German Ichthyological Society, a German-wide and, together with Austria, cross-national database of all available distribution data was therefore created early on and made available on the internet as a "Digital Fish Species Atlas of Germany and Austria" (Brunken & Brunschön 2006, Steinhausen et al. 2012). The technical development has now necessitated a fundamental reprogramming. In addition, the database was expanded to include marine fish species. Under the name "Biodiversity Warehouse" a modular software architecture for the administration and presentation of faunistic distribution data was developed. Based on this system solution, animal group specific atlases can be developed. Currently, in addition to the "Fish Atlas of Germany and Austria", three other atlases have been realized (mammal fauna of Bremen, mussel fauna of Bremen, fish fauna of Pernambuco/Brazil). The distribution data comes from literature searches and database queries with the responsible authorities (currently two German federal states and Austria as a whole) as well as from individual reports which registered users can transmit online or via smartphone application directly to the system. The latter Citizen Science data are checked for plausibility by a specialist editorial team before publication in the system for the purpose of quality control. The technical implementation is carried out as a distributed system using PostGIS as spatial database system, OSM as the source of the basic maps, GeoServer for the publication of map overlays, java and node.js for the implementation of backend-services and javascript-APIs like Angular, Leaflet, D3.js for the implementation of the frontend. The database currently comprises 123.566 distribution points of 395 marine and freshwater fish species. These are indicated by geographic coordinates that always show the underlying data source when the point is clicked (Fig. 1). The atlas is composed of species descriptions consisting of distribution maps, fact sheets, photo galleries and literature references. In addition, there are modules for species search, where several species can be displayed simultaneously (Fig. 2), for data export and for statistical evaluations. The atlas is designed to be multilingual throughout and is currently available in German, English and Portuguese. Based on the current database, Salmo trutta, Rutilus rutilus, Cottus gobio, Anguilla anguilla, Gobio gobio, Perca fluviatilis, Barbatula barbatula, Gasterosteus aculeatus, Squalius cephalus and Esox lucius (in descending order) are among the ten most common species in Germany and Austria. In addition to the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the presentation of the marine fish species also includes distribution maps, for the first time, from the area of the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation (TWSC). One of the upcoming challenges will be to integrate the distribution data of all German federal states into the atlas. The extensive data available there, including data from the monitoring of the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive, have not yet been made publicly available in a simple, user-friendly form. At the same time, however, the several federal states have some considerable reservations about cooperating with NGOS or cross-state institutions. Through the numerous possibilities for data input, data retrieval and access to scientifically verified information, the element of Citizen Science and environmental education for the protection of biological diversity is also to be strengthened. The existing cooperation with the Brazilian project partners (Brunken & Calazans 2016) at the federal universities UFPE and UFRPE in Recife, Pernambuco, will be expanded. Fig. 1: Distribution map for Barbatula barbatula (clustered display). The insert shows detailed information by clicking on a single distribution point. Fig. 2: Module “Species search” with three selected species and clustered preview of distribution data.

Figure 1
Figure 2


We would like to thank the research cluster "Region im Wandel" of the Hochschule Bremen for their financial support.


Brunken, H. & Brunschön, C. (2006): Digitaler Fischartenatlas von Deutschland – eine Projektbeschreibung. - Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie Band 5, 2006: 27-34. Brunken, H. & Calazans, G. (2016): Der Digitale Biodiversitätsatlas - ein erfolgreiches deutsch-brasilianisches Forschungsprojekt. - Brasilien – Wendepunkte, Widersprüche, Chancen. Schriftenreihe der Fakultät Wirtschaft an der Hochschule Bremen, Band 72: 52-57. Steinhausen, K.M., Winkler, M., Genzel, C.-H., Vatterrott, H.-R. & Brunken, H. (2012): “Finding Nemo” - Assessment and Visualisation of Biodiversity Data in a Web-based Atlas. - In: Arndt, H.-K., Knetsch, G. & Pillmann, W. (Eds.), EnviroInfo Dessau 2012, Part 1: Core Application Areas (Part 1), Aachen (Shaker Verlag): 225 - 230.

Keywords: Fish fauna, Citizen Science (CS), Distribution maps, Digital mapping, Fish biodiversity information system, POSTGIS system, OSM, GeoServer, Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation, German Ichthyological Society

Conference: XVI European Congress of Ichthyology, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2 Sep - 6 Sep, 2019.

Presentation Type: Poster


Citation: Brunken H and Vatterrott H (2019). Biodiversity Warehouse - A new Web-based Fish Atlas of Germany and Austria. Front. Mar. Sci. Conference Abstract: XVI European Congress of Ichthyology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fmars.2019.07.00149

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Received: 31 May 2019; Published Online: 14 Aug 2019.

* Correspondence: Prof. Heiko Brunken, Bremen University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany, Heiko.brunken@hs-bremen.de