Department of Biology
Institute of Plant Science and Microbiology
    Division BEE  >  Biodiversity & Ecology  >  Vol.4 >  Article 63

Biodiversity & Ecology

Short Database Report    Open Access 

New Zealand National Vegetation Databank

Hazel Broadbent*, Nick Spencer & Susan Wiser

Article first published online: 24 September 2012

DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00113

*Corresponding author contact: broadbenth@landcareresearch.co.nz

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 318–318, Sep 12
  PDF  (261 kB)

Keywords: archive; electronic; grassland; indigenous forest; New Zealand; physical; plot; Veg-X.


Abstract: The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) databank (GIVD ID AU-NZ-001) is New Zealand’s primary archive for plot-based vegetation data and holds data from 77,000 relevés and over 19,000 permanent plots. The NVS databank provides a unique record, spanning more than 50 years, of indigenous and exotic plants in New Zealand's terrestrial ecosystems. A broad range of habitats are covered, with special emphasis on indigenous forests and grasslands. The databank is both an electronic database and physical archive, which stores field recorded plot sheets, maps, and photographs from over 1,200 vegetation surveys. Data in the NVS databank has been built up over many decades by contributions from vegetation scientists and New Zealand environmental conservation agencies. The principal goals of the NVS databank are to provide a secure repository for such data and to ensure quality data are readily available to end-users in different organisations. A website (http://nvs.landcareresearch.co.nz) provides general background information, protocols for data deposit and use, and the ability to conduct online searches of metadata and to request data. Data within NVS have been used to support reporting requirements for the Convention on Biological Diversity, Framework Convention on Climate Change, NZ Resource Management Act, and the Montreal Process. They also assist in ecological restoration, and have been significant in enabling New Zealand to address issues of current concern that were unforeseen at the time of data collection. These include assessing the impacts of climate change and carbon storage in indigenous ecosystems. In 2007 a new extended and robust data model, based in part on the US VegBank design, was built and in 2009 a freely available data entry and analysis tool for vegetation plot data stored within the databank called ‘NVS Express’ was released. Future goals are to improve Internet services, develop additional online analysis and mapping capabilities, improve integration with plant trait data, and support the Veg-X data exchange schema.

Suggested citation:
Broadbent, H., Spencer, N., Wiser, S. (2012): New Zealand National Vegetation Databank. – 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: 318–318. DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00113.