Better species identification at lower cost - ATBI
A library of genetic markers and physical identifiers for every species of plant, animal and fungi on the island of Moorea is being constructed. This database will be publicly available as a resource for ecologists and evolutionary biologists around the world. This ambitious goal has never been attempted, especially for a tropical assemblage that cuts across taxonomy and habitats. Lessons learned in the project have and will continue to provide immediate benefits for other survey efforts globally. MBP has already partnered with the major barcoding institutions and represent one of three "leading labs" in developing strategies and protocols for creating a global barcode inventory. Moreover, a complete barcode inventory of the Moorea's flora and fauna will establish the island as an ideal testsite for cutting edge new technologies as they become available from various laboratories and need filed testing. These technologies will have applications in bio-monitoring (DNA chip assays), ecosystem function studies (food web, gut contents), and management assessment (ID for larvae, invasive and alien species, pathogens, etc.).
Greater access to verifiable biodiversity data - Biocode informatics platform and biocode services
In addition to an integrated species identification system for field biology and conservation, the Moorea Biocode Project aims to provide an informatics infrastructure to unite ecology, systematics, and genomics
Financial self-sustainability of Biocode services - Biocode business plan and proof of concept studies
While the priority is model ecosystems that serve as incubators for ground-breaking research (e.g., Moorea), biotic inventories and subsequent monitoring of genes and species are common needs for many sites around the world, not only those focused primarily on scientific research. Biocode services are of use wherever biodiversity is being monitored, managed, or promoted (e.g., ecotourism). A business planning component in the MBP will explore the needs of networks that represent key partners in developing and broadening the uptake of Biocode services (e.g., natural reserves, association of marine labs and international eco-stations...).
The biocode approach for building integrated biotic inventories (classical taxonomy and genetic barcodes) has already proved appealing to funding agencies supporting ATBI. Substantial proof of concept is needed, however, to mainstream the utilization of biocode tools by ecologists and to ensure that such biocode-enabled research is supported by a broad range of funding agencies. Working with internationally recognized scientists (e.g., LTER, CRIOBE), we will provide clear examples of how the biocode approach yields substantial advances in ecology and radical new conservation strategies.