A model of a digital biological ecosystem
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In this paper, we propose a model of a digital biological ecosystem of fish. Collections of fish data by scientists in Malaysia have been converted and developed into a digital biological ecosystem using computational technology and methods. We used a combination of Geographical Information System, databases and ontologies for storing, retrieving and visualizing fish species distribution and their abundance as well as their relationship with the environment. We used ArcGIS to build the fish and environmental geodatabase, which is linked to Google Earth for real-time visualization, and Surfer 8 to create contour maps which are superimposed as layers on the ArcGIS interface. Individual fish species on the map are hyperlinked to the FishBase Portal (http://www.fishbase.org/) while the published map is displayed using ArcReader. The three databases that we created contain information about fish species, environment and contours. These are also integrated using a fish ontology which will link all the available information for various fish species. The proposed system can be adopted by marine scientists to better convince economists, fishery managers, coastal developers and government bodies who make important decisions on conservation policies and laws.
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