Target field(s): Ecology, environmental and climate change science, land use planning, natural resources.



The Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) is a decision support and scenario planning tool that simplifies the process of biodiversity and climate change modelling. It connects the research community to Australia’s national computation infrastructure by integrating a suite of tools in a coherent online environment. Users can access biodiversity, climate and environmental data from global online datasets or upload their own datasets, perform data analysis such as Species Distribution Models with a suite of 19 different algorithms, and easily visualise, interpret and evaluate the results of the models.

Intended users

The BCCVL is designed for ecologists, environmental and climate change scientists, students, and consultants. Beyond this, the BCCVL makes for a great training platform for both researchers, consultants and those involved in land use planning and require decision support tools to help mitigate risk and determine how to best use available natural resources.

Use Cases

Species Distribution Model Experiments Used to investigate the potential distribution of a species under current climatic and environmental conditions. The BCCVL provides access to 17 Species Distribution Model algorithms which can be run simultaneously.

Climate Change Experiments

With the BCCVL, you can investigate the distribution of a species under potential future climatic conditions. Take the results of your Species Distribution Modelling experiment, and project that distribution for a certain year in the future with the climate information from one of several climate models. Select one of several greenhouse gas emissions scenarios to influence the climate models. Future climates are available from 2015 to 2085.

Biodiverse Experiments

Biodiverse is a system to compute indices of biodiversity. In the BCCVL it calculates gridded estimates of species richness and endemism based on previously run SDMs.

Species Trait Model Experiment (currently under development)

Used to investigate the potential distribution of a species under current climatic and environmental conditions based on one or more traits/characteristics of that species (e.g. size, colour, heat tolerance)

Ensemble Analysis (currently under development)

To reduce the uncertainty of using the single-model, or single-emissions-scenario approach to investigating climate change impacts on biodiversity, you can run an ensemble experiment. You can run several different species distribution models for one species, when assessing the distribution under current climate. If looking at a climate change scenario, you can use the output of several different climate models with one species distribution model, or take the average of the climate model outputs and input this into several different species distribution models. This approach can also be used to assess a range of climate change emissions scenarios.

How to get access

The BCCVL is free to use. Anyone with an Australian institutional ID (recognised by the Australian Access Federation) can log in and begin modelling. Individuals may also request a local login account and we will create one for you!