Agriculture-related pollinator data standards use cases report (Deliverable 10.1)

Trekels, Maarten; Pignatari Drucker, Debora; Salim, José Augusto; Ollerton, Jeff; Poelen, Jorrit; Miranda Soares, Filipi; Rünzel, Max; Kasina, Muo; Groom, Quentin; Devoto, Mariano

Although pollination is an essential ecosystem service that sustains life on Earth, data on this vital process is largely scattered or unavailable, limiting our understanding of the current state of pollinators and hindering effective actions for their conservation and sustainable management. In addition to the well-known challenges of biodiversity data management, such as taxonomic accuracy, the recording of biotic interactions like pollination presents further difficulties in proper representation and sharing. Currently, the widely-used standard for representing biodiversity data, Darwin Core, lacks properties that allow for adequately handling biotic interaction data, and there is a need for FAIR vocabularies for properly representing plant-pollinator interactions. Given the importance of mobilising plant-pollinator interaction data also for food production and security, the Research Data Alliance Improving Global Agricultural Data Community of Practice has brought together partners from representative groups to address the challenges of advancing interoperability and mobilising plant-pollinator data for reuse. This report presents an overview of projects, good practices, tools, and examples for creating, managing and sharing data related to plant-pollinator interactions, along with a work plan for conducting pilots in the next phase of the project.

We present the main existing data indexing systems and aggregators for plant-pollinator interaction data, as well as citizen science and community-based sourcing initiatives. We also describe current challenges for taxonomic knowledge and present two data models and one semantic tool that will be explored in the next phase. In preparation for the next phase, which will provide best practices and FAIR-aligned guidelines for documenting and sharing plant-pollinator interactions based on pilot efforts with data, this Case Study comprehensively examined the methods and platforms used to create and share such data. By understanding the nature of data from various sources and authors, the alignment of the retrieved datasets with the FAIR principles was also taken into consideration. We discovered that a large amount of data on plant-pollinator interaction is made available as supplementary files of research articles in a diversity of formats and that there are opportunities for improving current practices for data mobilisation in this domain. The diversity of approaches and the absence of appropriate data vocabularies causes confusion, information loss, and the need for complex data interpretation and transformation. Our explorations and analyses provided valuable insights for structuring the next phase of the project, including the selection of the pilot use cases and the development of a ‘FAIR best practices’ guide for sharing plant-pollinator interaction data. This work primarily focuses on enhancing the interoperability of data on plant-pollinator interactions, envisioning its connection with the effort WorldFAIR is undertaking to develop a Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework. 

The report is available on Zenodo.

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