NCEAS Project 12290

Developing an integrated botanical information network to investigate the ecological impacts of global climate change on plant biodiversity

  • Brian J. Enquist
  • Brad Boyle
  • Richard Condit
  • Steven Dolins
  • Robert K. Peet

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Working Group8th—12th December 2008Participant List  
Working Group8th—11th December 2009Participant List  
Working Group6th—10th December 2010Participant List  
Working Group24th—28th October 2011Participant List  
Working Group27th—30th November 2012Participant List  

Many of the major questions in ecology span enormous geographic and temporal scales, yet much ecological knowledge is still based on observations of individual investigators conducted at single locales, often covering scales of only a few hundred square meters. Understanding ecological patterns and predicting future changes, including those caused by human impact, necessitates a holistic approach covering large spatial scales, and this will only be achieved by identifying, retrieving, and synthesizing diverse data from distributed sources: heterogeneous data from a global confederation of collaborating scientists including a broad range of disciplines. To address this pressing need, we propose to network eight of the largest databases on plant inventories in the Americas to assemble an accessible and readily analyzable database warehouse on distributions and abundances. With it, we will answer major questions of direct relevance to conservation of new world biota. In particular, how does climate and latitude influence the relative distribution and abundance of narrow and widespread plant species? While this and associated questions have been mainstays for ecology our inability to integrate data has significantly limited our ability to answer them. The proposed working group will significantly improve our ability to finally answer these questions. We will also make distribution and abundance data widely available so that further analyses, for example covering other plant taxa or particular regions, will be possible. It is also part of our plan to continue expanding our meta-database with additional inventories, collections, and plots not yet digitized, plus future field work. This data network will provide a baseline of critical data will allow ecologists to address fundamental issues in plant ecology and global change biology.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Presentations Blonder, Benjamin; Nogu├ęs-Bravo, David; Rahbek, Carsten; Enquist, Brian J.; Boyle, Brad; Donoghue, John C.; Condit, Richard; Peet, Robert K.; Dolins, Steven; Schildhauer, Mark P.; Theirs, Barbara; McGill, Brian; Jorgensen, Peter; Narro, Martha; Regetz, Jim; Violle, Cyrille; Simova, Irena; Sloat, Lindsey L.; Piel, William; Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Morueta-Holme, Naia; Spencer, Nick; Wiser, Susan K.; Ott, Jeff E.; Dobrin, Barbara H.; Andelman, Sandy J.; Engemann Jensen, Kristine. 2013. Assembly of plant communities in climate space. International Biogeography 6th Biennial Meeting, January 9-13, 2013, Miami, Florida.
Journal Article Morueta-Holme, Naia; McGill, Brian; Boyle, Brad; Jorgensen, Peter; Ott, Jeffrey E.; Peet, Robert K.; Simova, Irena; Sloat, Lindsey L.; Theirs, Barbara; Violle, Cyrille; Wiser, Susan K.; Dolins, Steven; Donoghue, John C.; Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Regetz, Jim; Schildhauer, Mark P.; Spencer, Nick; Svenning, Jens-Christian. 2013. Habitat area and climate stability determine geographical variation in plant species range sizes. Ecology Letters. Vol: 16. Pages 1446-1454.
Journal Article Peet, Robert K.; Lee, Michael T.; Jennings, Michael D.; Faber-Langendoen, Don. 2012. VegBank - a permanent, open-access archive for vegetation-plot data. Biodiversity and Ecology. Vol: 4. Pages 233-241. (Online version)
Journal Article Wiser, Susan K.; Spencer, Nick; De Caceres, Miquel; Kleikamp, Martin; Boyle, Brad; Peet, Robert K. 2011. Veg-X - An exchange standard for plot-based vegetation data. Journal of Vegetation Science. Vol: 22(4). Pages 598-609. (Online version)