Records of plant species composition in vegetation plots representing different habitats and vegetation types have been collected by botanists and phytosociologists for more than a century. High density of such records is available especially in western, central and southern Europe, but many of them have also been sampled in other parts of the world. Only recently large data sets from these plots were included in electronic databases. In Europe there is well over 2 million of such records already stored in electronic databases. We have recently integrated several national or regional databases of vegetation plots in a single international platform called European Vegetation Archive (EVA), which makes the data readily available for basic research in ecology, biogeography and applications in nature conservation and environmental monitoring. In this talk I will provide a basic overview of data available in Europe and outline some possibilities of their use for inventorying diversity of European vegetation and flora, identifying endangered habitats, modelling the distribution of alien species, identifying fine-scale patterns of species richness across large areas, and assessing vegetation change.
Invited by Jürgen Dengler, Disturbance Ecology
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