Department of Biology
Institute for Plant Science and Microbiology
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Biodiversity & Ecology

Report    Open Access 

News from the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD): the metadata platform, available data, and their properties

Florian Jansen*, Falko Glöckler, Milan Chytrý, Miquel De Cáceres, Jörg Ewald, Manfred Finckh, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Jens Oldeland, Robert K. Peet, Joop H.J. Schaminée & Jürgen Dengler

Article first published online: 24 September 2012

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00061

*Corresponding author contact: jansen@uni-greifswald.de

Biodiversity & Ecology  (Biodivers. Ecol.)

Special Volume: Vegetation databases for the 21st century,
edited by Jürgen Dengler, Jens Oldeland, Florian Jansen, Milan Chytrý, Jörg Ewald, Manfred Finckh, Falko Glöckler, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Robert K. Peet & Joop H.J. Schaminée
Volume 4, pages 77–82, Sep 12
  PDF  (376 kB)

Keywords: biodiversity; data sharing; ecoinformatics; metadata; phytosociology; relevé.


Abstract: In 2010, we launched the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD; http://www.givd.info), an internet-based resource offering metadata of existing electronic vegetation databases. On 11 May 2012, 182 databases containing more than 2.8 million non-overlapping vegetation plots had been registered in GIVD. The majority of these plots were from European databases (123 databases, 1.87 million plots). The oldest plot record dated from 1864, but the vast majority of the plots had been collected since 1970. Most of the plots had areas between 1 and 1,000 m². A total of 68 databases also stored time series and/or nested-plot data. The vegetation-plot data registered in GIVD constitute a major resource for biodiversity research, not only through the large number of species occurrence records, but especially due to the storage of species co-occurrence information, complemented with site-specific structural data and plot-based environmental data. The increased ease of discovering and accessing such datasets, owing to their registration in GIVD, offers significant opportunities for large-scale studies in areas such as community ecology, macroecology, and global-change research. The results from such studies could be very important for nature conservation practice and policy.

Suggested citation:
Jansen, F., Glöckler, F., Chytrý, M., De Cáceres, M., Ewald, J., Finckh, M., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Oldeland, J., Peet, R.K., Schaminée, J.H.J., Dengler, J. (2012): News from the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD): the metadata platform, available data, and their properties. – In: Dengler, J., Oldeland, J., Jansen, F., Chytrý, M., Ewald, J., Finckh, M., Glöckler, F., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Peet, R.K., Schaminée, J.H.J. [Eds.]: Vegetation databases for the 21st century. – Biodiversity & Ecology 4: 77–82. DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00061.