Vegetation plot data and databases in Europe: an overview

J.H.J. Schaminée, M. Chytrý, S.M. Hennekens, J.S. Rodwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

During the last decade many electronic databases of vegetation plots, mainly phytosociological relevés, were established in different European countries. These databases contain information which is extremely valuable for both testing various macroecological hypotheses and for nature conservation surveying or monitoring. The aim of this paper is to provide estimates of the number of vegetation plots there are in Europe, how many are stored in an electronic format and to assess their distribution across European countries and regions.We sent a questionnaire to the managers of national or regional databases of vegetation plots and other prominent vegetation ecologists. Meta-data obtained in this way indicate that there are > 4,300,000 vegetation-plot records in Europe, of which > 1,800,000 are already stored electronically. Of the electronic plots, 60% are stored in TURBOVEG databases. Most plot records probably exist in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, UK, Switzerland and Austria. The largest numbers of plots per unit area are in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and countries of central Europe. The most computerized plots per country exist in the Netherlands (600,000), followed by France, the Czech Republic and the UK. Due to its strong phytosociological tradition, Europe has many more vegetation plots than any other part of the world. This wealth of unique ecological information is a challenge for future biodiversity studies. With the alarming loss in biodiversity and environmental problems like global warming and ongoing changes in land use, there is an urgent need for wide-scale scientific and applied vegetation research. Developments of information systems such as SynBioSys Europe and facilitation of data flow between the national and regional databases should make it easier to use these vegetation-plot data.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 18th International Workshop of European Vegetation Survey, Thermophilous vegatation, Roma, Italy, 25-28 March 2009
EditorsA. Agrillo, L. Casella
Place of PublicationRoma
Pages82-82
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event18th International Workshop of European Vegetation Survey, Roma, Italy -
Duration: 25 Mar 200928 Mar 2009

Workshop

Workshop18th International Workshop of European Vegetation Survey, Roma, Italy
Period25/03/0928/03/09

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    Schaminée, J. H. J., Chytrý, M., Hennekens, S. M., & Rodwell, J. S. (2008). Vegetation plot data and databases in Europe: an overview. In A. Agrillo, & L. Casella (Eds.), Book of Abstracts of the 18th International Workshop of European Vegetation Survey, Thermophilous vegatation, Roma, Italy, 25-28 March 2009 (pp. 82-82). https://edepot.wur.nl/14028