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Presentation Oral presentation
Title Rapid species identification - future tools for large scale monitoring

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Short title Rapid species identification

Author(s) Oyieke, H.(1); Wägele, J.W.(2)

Presenting author Oyieke, H.

Institution(s) (1) National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya; (3) Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Bonn

Keywords Monitoring, species diversity, barcoding, reverse taxonomy

Abstract A central question of monitoring of biodiversity is whether species numbers and abundances fluctuate, if and how communities of organisms change, and where species numbers are decreasing. For many taxa data at species level are difficult to obtain because species numbers are often very high, classical identification procedures require trained taxonomists, and these are not available in the required quantity. Furthermore, a large portion of species is still undescribed. Even when indicator taxa are being used to reduce the number of identification steps, the relevance of indicators has to be checked by analyses of the correlation between species presence and indicator parameters. Species identification can not be avoided.

Therefore a change in technology and attitude is necessary to speed up inventorying and diversity assessment. These technologies are in principle available, but they must be adapted to the envisioned application. The most promising tools that can be automated are digital image analyses, acoustic monitoring, and DNA barcoding. The first two can be applied to some but not all taxa, the latter is of universal use. A further option are electronic identification systems that replace binary keys. These are useful for all organisms that can be identified visually. These tools can not be developed without targeted investments. Future monitoring of biodiversity changes in Africa would be an opportunity for a first large-scale application of these new technologies.

Congress Topic Observation System

Topic No. 1.9
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Ref. No. 521