FunDivEUROPE Data Portal

FunDivEUROPE utilized the data from the European sites of the global network of tree diversity experiments. Over the past decade diversity experiments of up to 8 tree species had been established and provide the unique opportunity to reveal causal relationships between tree species diversity and ecosystem functions. The experimental sites were complemented by a newly established network of more than 250 research plots in a variety of European forest types clustered in six regions across Europe from boreal to mediterranean conditions.

A data portal was developed to upload, validate and store the data and make them publicly available on a website.

The data portal allows project members to upload, validate and store their data in a secure environment. The website is publicly available but to do certain functions, for example upload data, requires an account. Plot descriptor and tree data from five of the Exploratory regions are now available for download (under the ‘Data’ menu item) to project members.

The portal was developed within the Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning (BEF-China) research unit of the German Science Foundation (FOR 891). The FunDivEUROPE portal is a copy of the data portal that the BEF-China project uses.

Data is uploaded to the portal from a formatted MS Excel 2003 Workbook, which contains both the raw data and the metadata that is required to understand and interpret the data. On upload the metadata is also saved with the raw data, so that data provenance and descriptions are preserved. As long as the raw data is in a table format, and is correctly described in the workbook, it can be uploaded into the data portal; data providers are not restricted to predefined data formats.

During the upload process data is validated and harmonised against naming conventions, which are consistent names and codes for identical objects, for example species codes. Consistent naming standards are essential when merging, sharing and searching for data.

Each task in the Exploratory Platform has a sub-project in the data portal, under the ‘Projects’ menu item, where sub-project members will upload their data to. All data collected in the Exploratory Platform will be uploaded to the data portal. Access to data is controlled by the data owner, by default only the metadata of a dataset is available for the public and project members to view on the portal. Data owners can open up their data for download to sub-project members, members of the portal, or to the public.

Sophia Ratcliff - The FunDivEUROPE dataportal supports analysis and synthesis

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