As a fundamental data platform, we will generate standardized, global data on a range of species groups, thus allowing quantification of variation in ecological communities at spatial scales covering six orders of magnitude (from 0.1 km to 10000 km), across hundreds of thousands of species. As a key deliverable, we will develop global joint species distribution models describing the spatiotemporal structure of life on Earth. This task relies on a collaboration of a new type – a distributed sampling design involving 100 sites across the globe, with denser sampling in the Nordic countries and in Madagascar.
LIFEPLAN, the project led by Professor Otso Ovaskainen, is the second recipient in Finland of the highly competitive Synergy funding from the European Research Council ERC. The purpose of this six-year, 12.6 million euro project is to map global biodiversity with scientific tools. At the same time the researchers will be working to understand the effects of climate change and land use on biodiversity.