The Hierarchic Treatment of Marine Ecological Information from Spatial Networks of Benthic Platforms

TitleThe Hierarchic Treatment of Marine Ecological Information from Spatial Networks of Benthic Platforms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsAguzzi, J, Chatzievangelou, D, Francescangeli, M, Marini, S, Bonofiglio, F, del Rio, J, Danovaro, R
Type of ArticleJournal Article
Keywordsartificial intelligence, cabled observatories, crawler, cyber-infrastructures, data banking, ecological indicators, ecological information treatment, imaging

Measuring biodiversity simultaneously in different locations, at different temporal scales, and over wide spatial scales is of strategic importance for the improvement of our understanding of the functioning of marine ecosystems and for the conservation of their biodiversity. Monitoring networks of cabled observatories, along with other docked autonomous systems (e.g., Remotely Operated Vehicles [ROVs], Autonomous Underwater Vehicles [AUVs], and crawlers), are being conceived and established at a spatial scale capable of tracking energy fluxes across benthic and pelagic compartments, as well as across geographic ecotones. At the same time, optoacoustic imaging is sustaining an unprecedented expansion in marine ecological monitoring, enabling the acquisition of new biological and environmental data at an appropriate spatiotemporal scale. At this stage, one of the main problems for an effective application of these technologies is the processing, storage, and treatment of the acquired complex ecological information. Here, we provide a conceptual overview on the technological developments in the multiparametric generation, storage, and automated hierarchic treatment of biological and environmental information required to capture the spatiotemporal complexity of a marine ecosystem. In doing so, we present a pipeline of ecological data acquisition and processing in different steps and prone to automation. We also give an example of population biomass, community richness and biodiversity data computation (as indicators for ecosystem functionality) with an Internet Operated Vehicle (a mobile crawler). Finally, we discuss the software requirements for that automated data processing at the level of cyber-infrastructures with sensor calibration and control, data banking, and ingestion into large data portals.


All arrays