Luis Cayuela, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Lucía Gálvez-Bravo, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos
Ramón Pérez Pérez, Universidad de Granada
Fábio S. de Albuquerque, Universidad de GranadaFollow
Duncan J. Golicher, Bournemouth University - Talbot Campus
Rakan A. Zahawi, Las Cruces Biological Station & Wilson Botanical Garden
Neptalí Ramírez-Marcial, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Cristina Garibaldi, Universidad de Panamá Panama City
Richard Field, University of Nottingham
José M. Rey Benayas, Universidad de Alcalá Crta
Mario González-Espinosa, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Patricia Balvanera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Miguel Ángel Casto;;p, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Blanca L. Figueroa-Rangel, Universidad de Guadalajara
Daniel M. Griffith, Saint Louis Zoo
Gerald A. Islebe, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Daniel L. Kelly, Trinity College
Miguel Olvera-Vargas, Universidad de Guadalajara
Stefan A. Schnitzer, Marquette UniversityFollow
Eduardo Velázquez, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
Guadalupe Williams-Linera, Red de Ecología Funcional Instituto de Ecología
Steven W. Brewer, Belize Foundation for Research & Environmental EducationFollow
Angélica Camacho-Cruz, Biodiversidad
Indiana Coronado, Missouri Botanical Garden
Ben De Jong, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Íñigo Granzow-de la Cerda, University of MichiganFollow
Javier Fernández, Yale University
William Fonseca, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Luis Galindo-Jaimes, Biodiversidad
Thomas W. Gillespie, Department of GeographyFollow
Benigno González-Rivas, Universidad Nacional Agraria Managua
James E. Gordon, IUCN
Johanna Hurtado, Organization for Tropical Studies
José Linares, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano
Susan G. Letcher, Organization for Tropical StudiesFollow
Scott A. Mangan, University of Wisconsin - MilwaukeeFollow
Jorge A. Meave, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Ernesto V. Méndez, University of Vermont
Victor Meza, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Susana Ochoa-Gaona, Unidad Villahermosa
Chris J. Peterson, University of Georgia
Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Kymberley A. Snarr, University of Toronto
Fernando Tun Dzul, Unidad de Recursos Naturales
Mirna Valdez-Hernández, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Karin M. Viergever, Ecometrica
David A. White, Loyola University - New Orleans
John N. Williams, University of California
Francisco J. Bonet, Universidad de Granada
Regino Zamora, Universidad de Granada

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Universität Hamburg

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Biodiversity & Ecology

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Biodiversity research and conservation efforts in the tropics are hindered by the lack of knowledge of the assemblages found there, with many species undescribed or poorly known. Our initiative, the Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET), aims to address this problem by assembling georeferenced data from a wide range of sources, making these data easily accessible and easily queried, and promoting data sharing. The database (GIVD ID NA-00-002) currently comprises ca. 50,000 tree records of ca. 5,000 species (230 in the IUCN Red List) from >2,000 forest plots in 11 countries. The focus is on trees because of their pivotal role in tropical forest ecosystems (which contain most of the world's biodiversity) in terms of ecosystem function, carbon storage and effects on other species. BIOTREE-NET currently focuses on southern Mexico and Central America, but we aim to expand coverage to other parts of tropical America. The database is relational, comprising 12 linked data tables. We summarise its structure and contents. Key tables contain data on forest plots (including size, location and date(s) sampled), individual trees (including diameter, when available, and both recorded and standardised species name), species (including biological traits of each species) and the researchers who collected the data. Many types of queries are facilitated and species distribution modelling is enabled. Examining the data in BIOTREE-NET to date, we found an uneven distribution of data in space and across biomes, reflecting the general state of knowledge of the tropics. More than 90% of the data were collected since 1990 and plot size varies widely, but with most less than one hectare in size. A wide range of minimum sizes is used to define a 'tree'. The database helps to identify gaps that need filling by further data collection and collation. The data can be publicly accessed through a web application at Researchers are invited and encouraged to contribute data to BIOTREE-NET.


Published version. Biodiversity & Ecology, Vol. 4, (2012): 211-224. DOI. © 2012 Universität Hamburg. Used with permission.

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