|Dengler, J; Oldeland, J; Jansen, F; Chytrý, M; Ewald, J; Finckh, M; Glöckler, F; Lopez-Gonzalez, G; Peet, RK; Schaminée, JHJ: Facilitating access to vegetation data – Introduction to the Special Volume. – 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, 9–13 (2012), doi:10.7809/b-e.00055|
|Key words: biodiversity informatics; conference report; database report; ecoinformatics; editorial; Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD); metadata; vegetation plot|
This editorial introduces the Special Volume “Vegetation databases for the 21st century”, which is an outcome of the 9th Meeting on Vegetation Databases, held 24–26 February 2010 in Hamburg. We briefly report on the meeting with its presentations and workshops. Then we highlight the launch of the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD), an online metadatabase initiated during the conference and which currently lists 183 databases worldwide. Further, we report on plans for an electronic reference list of all European plant taxa (EuroSL) and the emerging European Vegetation Archive (EVA), which will join existing national and regional databases. Besides five regular articles, this Special Volume contains a series of Database Reports that present standardised Fact Sheets for the majority of GIVD-registered databases. The publication of the Database Reports will make these databases more visible, allowing their regular citation, and thus presenting an incentive for collaborative data use.