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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Combining Biodiversity Resurveys across Regions to Advance Global Change Research

Verheyen, Kris; De Frenne, Pieter; Baeten, Lander; Waller, Donald M.; Hedl, Radim; Perring, Michael P.; Blondeel, Haben; Brunet, Jorg; Chudomelova, Marketa; Decocq, Guillaume; De Lombaerde, Emiel; Depauw, Leen; Dirnbock, Thomas; Durak, Tomasz; Eriksson, Ove; Gilliam, Frank S.; Heinken, Thilo; Heinrichs, Steffi; Hermy, Martin; Jaroszewicz, Bogdan;
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More and more ecologists have started to resurvey communities sampled in earlier decades to determine long-term shifts in community composition and infer the likely drivers of the ecological changes observed. However, to assess the relative importance of and interactions among multiple drivers, joint analyses of resurvey data from many regions spanning large environmental gradients are needed. In this article, we illustrate how combining resurvey data from multiple regions can increase the likelihood of driver orthogonality within the design and show that repeatedly surveying across multiple regions provides higher representativeness and comprehensiveness, allowing us to answer more completely a broader range of questions. We provide general guidelines to aid the implementation of multiregion resurvey databases. In so doing, we aim to encourage resurvey database development across other community types and biomes to advance global environmental change research.


legacy data; (quasi-)permanent plots; community ecology; ground-layer vegetation; temperate forest

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2017, Volume: 67, number: 1, pages: 73-83

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