On 22nd-25th February 2016, eight experts on marine and anchialine cave faunas gathered at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), host institute of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), for the first editor workshop of the World Register of marine Cave Species (WoRCS).
The general aim of this initiative is to create a comprehensive taxonomic and ecological database of species known from marine and anchialine cave environments worldwide. The creation of this database will allow for an accurate assessment of the diversity and distribution of such faunas, and will provide information vital for evidence-based conservation.
The workshop can definitely be labeled as highly successful: during the hands-on session, no less than 900 species known to occur in cave environments have been added to the database.
The initiative was supported by LifeWatch, the E-Science European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, through grants allocated by LifeWatch Belgium to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) developed and maintained in VLIZ. The taxonomic backbone of LifeWatch aims at bringing together taxonomic and species-related data and at filling the gaps in our knowledge. In addition, it gives support to taxonomic experts by providing them logistic and financial support for meetings and workshops related to expanding the content and enhancing the quality of taxonomic databases.
LifeWatch Belgium provided the funds to VLIZ to host the workshop through a competitive grant mechanism. LifeWatchGreece provided the staff time for the global workshop organization: V. Gerovasileiou and N. Bailly. VLIZ provided the staff time for the workshop organization on site: W. Decock, L. Vandepitte, S. Dekeyzer, B. Vanhoorne; and Nathalie Keersebilck who are greatly acknowledged by the WoRCS founding editors.
The agenda and final report of the workshop can be downloaded from the following link:
The WoRCS web interface will be launched soon!!!