Big data integration: Pan-European fungal species observations’ assembly for addressing contemporary questions in ecology and global change biology

Carrie Andrew, Einar Heegaard, Paul Kirk, Claus Bassler, Jacob Heilmann-Clausen, Irmgard Krisai-Greilhuber, Thomas Kuyper, Beatrice Senn-Irlet, Ulf Buntgen, Jeffrey Diez, Simon Egli, Alan Gange, Halvorsen Rune, Klaus Hoiland, Jenni Norden, Fredrik Rustoen, Lynne Boddy, Havard Kauserud

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Species occurrence observations are increasingly available for scientific analyses through citizen science projects and digitization of museum records, representing a largely untapped ecological resource. When combined with open-source data, there is unparalleled potential for understanding many aspects of organisms’ ecology and biogeography. Here we describe the process of assembling a pan-European mycological meta-database (ClimFun) and integrating it with open-source data to advance the fields of macroecology and biogeography against a backdrop of global change. Initially 7.3 million unique fungal species fruit body records, spanning nine countries, were processed and assembled into 6 million records of more than 10,000 species. This is an extraordinary amount of fungal data to address macro-ecological questions. We provide two examples of fungal species with different life histories, one ectomycorrhizal and one wood decaying, to demonstrate how such continental-scale meta-databases can offer unique insights into climate change effects on fungal phenology and fruiting patterns in recent decades.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88–98
Number of pages11
JournalFungal Biology Reviews
Issue number2
Early online date30 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Global change
  • biogeography
  • fungi
  • citizen science
  • open-source
  • meta-database

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