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      The New Bioinformatics: Integrating Ecological Data from the Gene to the Biosphere

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      Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Bioinformatics, the application of computational tools to the management and analysis of biological data, has stimulated rapid research advances in genomics through the development of data archives such as GenBank, and similar progress is just beginning within ecology. One reason for the belated adoption of informatics approaches in ecology is the breadth of ecologically pertinent data (from genes to the biosphere) and its highly heterogeneous nature. The variety of formats, logical structures, and sampling methods in ecology create significant challenges. Cultural barriers further impede progress, especially for the creation and adoption of data standards. Here we describe informatics frameworks for ecology, from subject-specific data warehouses, to generic data collections that use detailed metadata descriptions and formal ontologies to catalog and cross-reference information. Combining these approaches with automated data integration techniques and scientific workflow systems will maximize the value of data and open new frontiers for research in ecology.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Gene ontology: tool for the unification of biology. The Gene Ontology Consortium.

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            Food Web Complexity and Species Diversity

             Robert Paine (1966)
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              The Semantic Web

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93101; email: , ,
                [2 ]Genome Center, University of California, Davis, California 95616; email:
                Journal
                Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
                Annu. Rev. Ecol. Evol. Syst.
                Annual Reviews
                1543-592X
                1545-2069
                December 2006
                December 2006
                : 37
                : 1
                : 519-544
                10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.37.091305.110031
                © 2006

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