A revolution in managing forest plot inventory data is here!

Ever wanted to standardise the identifications of species across your plots? Ever wanted to download data from several of your plots from the ForestPlots.net database at the same time? Ever wanted to be able to download your plot data in a standard format that can be integrated seamlessly into R for rapid data analysis?

With the new Advanced query feature on the ForestPlots.net application, you can!

The first RAINFOR database was built more than ten years ago to integrate an expanding pile of Excel spreadsheets of forest data from individual plots into a linked, but still simple, Access database. That step opened the way to consistent and efficient analyses of stand-level forest plot characteristics. The development of this as a web-based tool, ForestPlots.net, allowed all collaborators in RAINFOR and beyond to access and manage their forest plot data. Now, with the recent release of a series of updates, you can store and view images linked to individual trees, and download data from multiple plots according to a range of search criteria.

Specifically, you can now:

  • upload and compare photos of specimens to ensure that determinations are standardised
  • update your botanical determinations
  • access your data easily so you can explore, analyse and utilise your data fully
  • download all, or any subset, of your plot data

These new features are an output of the NERC-funded project ‘Niche evolution of South American trees’ (involving Toby Pennington, Tim Baker, Kyle Dexter, and Oliver Phillips) and we hope these updates will fundamentally improve the access, management, curation and analysis of our plot data.  More specifically this project aims to improve our ability to manage the species determinations associated with the trees in our plots, by allowing identifications to be standardised among sites. As a result of on-going work, the database already contains more than 11,000 images from plots across Peru and Bolivia and we aim to expand this digital herbarium further during the course of the project.

Want to try the new features? Go to the Advanced search tab on ForestPlots.net, and view the video at http://www.forestplots.net/en/l

Any comments? Let us know!

Tim Baker, Kyle Dexter, Gaby Lopez-Gonzalez, Mark Burkitt