LakeBase: Database Infrastructure for Long-Term Data of German Lakes

Status: completed


Birgitta König-Ries
Jan Martin Keil


Germany has a strong community of internationally leading scientists in the field of long-term research of lake ecosystem. Their studies base on continuous collected biotic and abiotic variables over the recent 3 to 5 decades. Currently, this data are stored at several universities and Leibniz institutes. There is a lack of a homogeneous database infrastructure to (1) protect the data in the first place and (2) to make them readily available for the scientific community, (3) to standardize metadata and quality and (4) to improve interoperability between existing data bases on lakes internationally, (5) establish an infrastructure to be implemented in global information networks.

In this collaborative project coordinated by the IGB, the Leibniz-institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, we plan to develop a database infrastructure for long-term data of lakes. We aim to provide interoperability of LakeBase with international databases, like LTER North Temperate Lake Database and other collections of ecological time series. The challenge will be to achieve interoperability without limiting the data owners’ autonomy.

The Heinz-Nixdorf-Chair for Distributed Information Systems at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena is responsible for the development of an ontology-based common vocabulary and meta data standards to provide semantic search capabilities and meta data annotation assistance.

LakeBase will build on the existing database infrastructure of the Leibniz-institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB). The IGB takes responsibility for the long-term protection of LakeBase and is planing to embed LakeBase into a global information and forecast network for long-term and biodiversity research.