Canadian Forest Service Publications

The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. 2014. Hudson, L.; … Hébert, C.; … Purvis, A. Ecol. Evol. 4(24):4701-4735.

Year: 2014

Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36215

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1303

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Abstract

Biodiversity continues to decline in the face of increasing anthropogenic pressures such as habitat destruction, exploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. Existing global databases of species’ threat status or population time series are dominated by charismatic species. The collation of datasets with broad taxonomic and biogeographic extents, and that support computation of a range of biodiversity indicators, is necessary to enable better understanding of historical declines and to project – and avert – future declines. We describe and assess a new database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 species, collated from existing spatial comparisons of local-scale biodiversity exposed to different intensities and types of anthropogenic pressures, from terrestrial sites around the world. The database contains measurements taken in 208 (of 814) ecoregions, 13 (of 14) biomes, 25 (of 35) biodiversity hotspots and 16 (of 17) megadiverse countries. The database contains more than 1% of the total number of all species described, and more than 1% of the described species within many taxonomic groups – including flowering plants, gymnosperms, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, beetles, lepidopterans and hymenopterans. The dataset, which is still being added to, is therefore already considerably larger and more representative than those used by previous quantitative models of biodiversity trends and responses. The database is being assembled as part of the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems – ww.predicts.org.uk).

Plain Language Summary

In this article, the authors introduce the PREDICTS database, created as part of the international PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project, which aims to show how the biodiversity of various terrestrial communities reacts to human activity.

This database contains over 1.6 million data from 78 countries, covering over 28,000 plant and animal species. The article explains how the data was collected and validated. It also specifies the database’s geographical and temporal scope. This database, which is available for free, will support large-scale research projects on variations in the biodiversity of different biomes (large ecological units) or different regions of the world.

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