Using Australian Virtual Herbarium data to find all the woody rain forest plants in Australia

  • Data bases that provide continental and global scale information about species distributions provide a valuable resource for environmental, ecological and evolutionary research. However to bring a large dataset to a standard that is suitable for quantitative analysis, data quality needed to be checked. Here we provide a worked example using a large dataset (c. 320,000 records) from Australia’s Virtual Herbarium (AVH) database, based on an initial data request for full distribution data for c. 2600 woody rain forest species known to occur in Australia. To reconcile inconsistencies around taxonomic identity prior to merging with our trait data-base, and resolve issues around spatial resolution and accuracy, we implemented extensive data filtering using a ‘cloud-based’ solution (Google Refine). This systematic process resulted in 1) the removal of close to 45% of the records originally downloaded, and 2) a clean and powerful data set based on herbarium backed distribution records for Australia’s woody rain forest species. Such resources can contribute significantly to improving research outcomes related to understanding Australia’s vegetation.

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Author:Robert Kooyman, Maurizio Rossetto, Shawn Laffan
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Publisher:Mount Annan Botanic Garden, The Administration Officer
Place of publication:Mount Annan, NSW
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2013/03/28
Date of first Publication:2012/07/30
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/03/28
Page Number:4
First Page:177
Last Page:180
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 12, Issue 3 (2012)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht