The CDD Project

To fill the important knowledge gap on the biodiversity and autecology of northern circumpolar diatoms, the maximum available information must be collected. Assembling regional data makes it possible to draw ecological and environmental conclusions at a larger geographic scale. The Circumpolar Diatom Database project aims to respond to these needs. The CDD project and website was initiated in 1997 at the Laboratoire de Paléoécologie Aquatic, Centre d’études Nordiques (CEN) Université Laval, Quebec City Canada.

Sirois (2011)1 developed the current data structure which is designed using a relational database model. CDD is structured to accommodate sediment core data as well as the original biogeographic data. Therefore, the CDD data can easily be used for spatial analysis across datasets and regions. A user interface with search forms makes it possible to explore the results in simple and precise ways.

The database currently holds 572 sample, 40,114 taxa occurrences and >15,000 limnological data points. The geographic range extends over 8 geographic regions of the circumpolar Arctic within 3 continents (North America, Europe and Asia).

The CDD aims to become an international reference for paleolimnologists. We encourage contributions to the project by sharing data. The CCD is also supported and associated with the National Canadian database for Phycology at the Canadian Museum of Nature. These databases give access to phycological collections across the world and more specifically circumpolar ecosystems.

1Sirois, M., (2011). Développement d’un système d’information pour la paléolimnologie : la base de données des diatomées circumpolaires (Circumpolar Diatom Database - CDD). Mémoire de maîtrise, Université Laval, Québec, 181p.


The CDD project was initiated by Reinhard Pienitz, ArcticNet. Web design was funded by R. Pienitz through grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and from the Centre d’études Nordiques (Université Laval). Ongoing support for CDD is from Paul Hamilton (Phycology section) at the Canadian Museum of Nature and is tied to the National Phycology Collection of Canada.