Ecoinformatics: supporting ecology as a data-intensive science

Trends Ecol Evol. 2012 Feb;27(2):85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2011.11.016. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


Ecology is evolving rapidly and increasingly changing into a more open, accountable, interdisciplinary, collaborative and data-intensive science. Discovering, integrating and analyzing massive amounts of heterogeneous data are central to ecology as researchers address complex questions at scales from the gene to the biosphere. Ecoinformatics offers tools and approaches for managing ecological data and transforming the data into information and knowledge. Here, we review the state-of-the-art and recent advances in ecoinformatics that can benefit ecologists and environmental scientists as they tackle increasingly challenging questions that require voluminous amounts of data across disciplines and scales of space and time. We also highlight the challenges and opportunities that remain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology
  • Databases as Topic
  • Ecology / methods*
  • Ecology / trends
  • Software