research product . 2021

Biological Reference Collections ICM-CSIC

Santos, Ricardo; Sabatés, Ana; Ramón, Montserrat; Villanueva, Roger; Lombarte, Antoni; Abelló, Pere; Guerrero, Elena;
Open Access English
  • Published: 17 Dec 2021
  • Country: Spain
The marine Biological Reference Collections (CBR) are located at the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona, Spain. The CBR are a Unit of Service where around 15000 referenced species are preserved, catalogued and maintained for their study. The most represented marine groups at the CBR are fish, crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms, but also other groups are present. The studies based on the CBR specimens are focused on biodiversity, biogeography, taxonomy (type species), invasive and alien species, and genetic analysis. Several PhD theses have also been carried out in collaboration with the CBR.The CBR are a reference point for the marine biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea, but in their facilities the CBR also hold specimens from all the oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Antarctic and Arctic). The Collections are constantly receiving new specimens and updating. The main sources of specimens are oceanographic surveys and different kind of sampling programs carried out by the research projects run by the ICM-CSIC. However, the CBR have also received (in the past and currently) different collections donated by naturalists, researchers, other institutions, and particulars. The CBR were created in 1981, in the earlier history of the ICM-CSIC, by Jaume Rucabado, Domingo Lloris and Concepción Allué. The Collections were later recognized and catalogued by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1990. In the last decade, the CBR initiated a new stage where the information was digitized and the physical preservation of specimens updated to the new rules (such as change from formaldehyde to ethanol). The CBR are now part of GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility), thus making public and available all data collections and their metadata. We have also incorporated the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to monitor and study the geographical distribution of our specimens and moreover, the CBR started to act as repository of DNA voucher collections for genetic analyses.As a unit of service of the ICM-CSIC we think that education and outreach of marine science is of crucial importance for the society and for that reason the CBR take active part in several outreach activities with schools, universities and general public. For more information or details you can visit our webpage ( and send us an e-mail ( We will be happy to help you.
Peer reviewed
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free text keywords: Occurrence, Specimen, Fish, Crustaceans, Molluscs, Echinoderms, Marine, Biodiversity, Biological species, GBIF Dataset Type Vocabulary:, GBIF Dataset Subtype Vocabulary:, GBIF Dataset Type Vocabulary:, Occurrence, specimen, fish, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, marine, Biodiversity, Biological species, [GBIF Dataset Type Vocabulary], [GBIF Dataset Subtype Vocabulary], n/a, [GBIF Dataset Type Vocabulary]
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