Digital twins (DTs) are gaining popularity as a digital monitoring tool in environmental science disciplines. They enable continuous monitoring of physical phenomena and are becoming part of sustainability agendas, such as the European Commission's 'Destination Earth' (DestinE) initiative. These advancements are driving digital transitions in ecology, utilising high-tech sensors for automated data collection and processing, revolutionising data-driven research. Technological developments in digital infrastructure have significantly reduced costs, making DT adoption in ecology more feasible.
An article written by representatives of the Horizon Europe projects BioDT and NATURE-FIRST, Koen de Koning, Jeroen Broekhuijsen, Ingolf Kühn, Otso Ovaskainen, Franziska Taubert, Dag Endresen, Dmitry Schigel and Volker Grimm was recently published on Trends in Ecology & Evolution (Cell Press).
“The idea of DTs to regularly update and improve biodiversity-related models with high-resolution monitoring data is very promising. However, the name ‘digital twin’ may raise false expectations, so we wanted to carefully introduce the idea, its potential and its current challenges.” Volker Grimm, Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research - UFZ
BioDT is playing a crucial role in supporting thse developments by harnessing digital twin prototypes for biodiversity. Through BioDT's innovative approach, the understanding and preservation of our planet's natural wonders will be elevated. These digital twin prototypes will offer new insights and tools for studying and protecting biodiversity, marking a significant step forward in the field of ecology.
With the convergence of digital technology and biodiversity research, there is immense potential for transformative discoveries and conservation efforts. The collaboration between initiatives like DestinE and projects like BioDT in leveraging digital twins paves the way for a more sustainable future, where we can better comprehend, protect, and restore the ecosystems that make up our precious planet.
Source: Trends in Ecology & Evolution