Oceanic islands have long been of special scientific interest for their mechanisms of formation and development, their means of biotic colonization, their development of uniquely evolved biotas and ecosystems, and, recently, the extensive loss of their endemic species due to land-use changes, invasive species and environmental change.
ISLAND LAB (Virtual Laboratory for Island Biodiversity),working as a Virtual Research Environment (VRE), is a unique initiative of Azorean Biodiversity Group ((IBBC and IERS of cE3c), that will provide information and an electronic toolbox to analyze and interpret island data. This website will promote collaboration and the dissemination of our research findings, and allow researchers from other institutes to engage in island research. It will pull together the currently disparate literature and analytical tools on island ecology, biogeography and environmental risks research and will be the first of its kind in island ecology, thus promoting Island research across Europe and worldwide.
ABG- cE3c researchers are in charge of three major research facilities:
- Azorean Biodiversity Portal (http://www.azoresbioportal.angra.uac.pt/) and its associated species distribution spatial database (http://www.atlantis.angra.uac.pt/), a key e-infrastructure for the integrated management of biodiversity data of the Azores archipelago. This portal provides many specialized services to support research, education and policy;
- Long-Term Ecological Research Plots in several Azorean Islands used to monitor bryophytes (MOVECLIM altitudinal gradients plots), vascular plants (ISLANDBIODIV plots) and arthropods (BALA, ISLANDBIODIV and EDEN plots);
- Plots to monitor biodivresity in Madeira Islands;
- Natural History Collections of Bryophytes, vascular plants and Arthropods.