Ecology Data

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Ecology is a field of study in the ecosystem sciences. It is studied from many perspectives (blue zone, Ecosystem Science Long-term Plan)). These themes in turn interface and draw on studies in allied fields of biology, climatology, chemistry, environmental science and economics to help society understand and manage the world's ecosystems for our prosperity (green zone).

Ecological science involves integrating, analyzing, visualizing and collecting better information about plants, animals, microbes of different ecosystems, observing how they interact among themselves and the environments where they are co-located in nature. It also involves understanding and forecasting how our harvesting of the Australian environment affects are our social, economic and health well-being.

High value data

Data are the currency of science, policy, management and economic well-being. The numbers of any data analysis affect the quality of results, the reliability of environmental change forecasts and decision making and "garbage in, garbage out" is an apt cautionary adage. Eco-informatics aims to offer high value ecology data for its user base. Features of our data collection are:

Essential measures: Our ecology data consists of in situ co-located species and environment (ecological attribute) data enable the 'how', 'why' and 'what if I do this' questions about both species-to-species and species-to-environment interactions scientists know are fundamental for understanding, forecasting and managing  environmental change. 'Species data' include all land-based biota and 'environment data' are the ecological attributes recorded concurrently with the biota.

Coverage: Widespread, large volumes of data for biota and ecological attributes gathered through surveillance monitoring across Australia improves the accuracy, precision, uncertainty, cosistency and appropriateness of analysis.

Depth: Data supplied from long-term monitoring and detailed, localised experimental programs improve the veracity and validity of the 'what' and 'where' reporting.

Integrity: Quality assured data curation by collaboration,  secure systems operation for preservation, decommissioning arrangements with our hosting university  give our data authenticity. 

Transparency: We strive to achieve scientific quality  and transparency in our metadata by doing detailed authoring (in collaboration with the data producers) on a number of threads. The sections are: (1) overview (title, author(s), scope, accessibility, abstract, objectives), (2)scope (temporal, spatial, taxonomic, thematic, collection status, update frequency, last update. curation status, completeness), (3)methods ( plot selection, establishment, layout and description methods, sampling methods for each suite of ecological attributes) and (4) condition of data use (citation, licence, rights, access, collaboration and contact statements) and (5) reference list.  aim with our metadata to offer the highest scientific quality are given the highest priority.

Trusted: We  balance the different user needs to make it easy for users to find, understand and access data by having commonly used interfaces and functionality, interoperability of services and  dedicated support to help users.