Creative use of mountain biodiversity databases: The Kazbegi research agenda of GMBA-DIVERSITAS

Geo-referenced archive databases on mountain organisms are very promising tools for achieving a better understanding of mountain biodiversity and predicting its changes. The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) of DIVERSITAS, in cooperation with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, encourages a global effort to mine biodiversity databases on mountain organisms. The wide range of climatic conditions and topographies across the world's mountains offers an unparalleled opportunity for developing and testing biodiversity theory. The power of openly accessible, interconnected electronic databases for scientific biodiversity research, which by far exceeds the original intent of archiving for mainly taxonomic purposes, has been illustrated. There is an urgent need to increase the amount and quality of geo-referenced data on mountain biodiversity provided online, in order to meet the challenges of global change in mountains.