Using EcoTrends to synthesize animal data from the LTER Network

Michael Willig
Paul Stapp
Robert Waide

A working group funded by the LNO examined the animal data in the EcoTrends database with the following objectives:
• To provide strategic insight into the products that might arise from use of extant animal-based data in the EcoTrends archive;
• To identify lacunae in data that compromise the development of new insights or understanding;
• To identify shortcomings in metadata that compromise development of new insights or understanding;
• To assess the adequacy of the current EcoTrends cyberinterface and identify modifications or capabilities that would enhance functionality.

Initial inspection of the EcoTrends database suggested that differences in 1) datasets with regard to higher taxonomic affiliation of species, 2) time extents over which data were collected, and 3) life-zones from which data were derived limit the production of short-term syntheses. However, the working group concluded that more concerted effort, facilitated by additional experts, might identify animal groups (taxa or ensembles) that are indicators of major state change within ecosystems. In addition, a working group with broader representation would allow identification of additional site data sets that would expand the EcoTrends database.

The proposed working group will examine the best approaches to derive synthesis products from animal data in the EcoTrends database. In addition, the group will identify additional animal data that could be used in such subsequent analyses, as well as collaborators that would be able to provide such data and participate in the analysis. The object of the analysis would be to develop an exploratory manuscript that would examine the effect of landscape- and climate-related drivers on the abundance and distribution of species across the US and beyond.

Session Info

Working Group Session 2

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Longs Peak Keyhole
Working Group Materials