|Jansen, F; Glöckler, F; Chytrý, M; Ewald, J; Finckh, M; Lopez-Gonzalez, G; Oldeland, J; Peet, RK; Schaminée, JHJ; Dengler, J: 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. in University of Hamburg: Biodiversity & Ecology, 4, 77–82 (2012), doi:10.7809/b-e.00061|
|Key words: biodiversity; data sharing; ecoinformatics; metadata; phytosociology; relevé|
In 2010, we launched the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD; http://www.givd.info), an internet-based re- source 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 data- bases, 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 vegeta- tion-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.