sPlot – The Global Vegetation Database

sPlot is the largest repository for plant community data in the world, containing almost 2 million records with full lists of plant species co-occurring in small areas (plots). The facility was first established as a working group funded by sDiv, then assumed as an iDiv research platform. By integrating national and continental vegetation databases, sPlot aims at understanding global patterns in plant diversity across facets, biomes and scales.

Research focus

  • big data infrastructure for collaborative biodiversity research.
  • To explain global patterns in taxonomical, functional and phylogenetic diversity.
  • To understand the role of temporal and spatial scaling in plant diversity

Key data

  • Location: National and regional databases are stored in Turboveg 3 software. Data accessibility and analytical support is provided by iDiv. 
  • Platform type: Relational database including species lists recorded in plots and header data (geographic and environmental information), then linked with functional traits provided by TRY and phylogenetic information.
  • Research groups involved: sPlot is an international consortium formed by 167 databases, 262 scientists from > 190 institutions (see Consortium and contributing databases).


Dr. Gabriella Damasceno

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