Luis Cayuela, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Lucía Gálvez-Bravo, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos
F S. de Albuquerque, Universidad de Granada - Junta de AndalucíaFollow
Duncan J. Golicher, Bournemouth University - Talbot Campus
Mario González-Espinosa, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Neptalí Ramírez-Marcial, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
José M. Rey Benayas, Universidad de Alcalá Crta
Rakan A. Zahawi, Las Cruces Biological Station & Wilson Botanical Garden
Jorge A. Meave, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
B. M. Benito, Universidad de Granada - Junta de Andalucía
Cristina Garibaldi, Universidad de Panamá Panama City
I. Chan, Bournemouth University
Ramón Pérez Pérez, Universidad de Granada
Richard Field, University of Nottingham
Patricia Balvanera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
M. A. Castillo, Unidad San Cristóbal
Blanca L. Figueroa-Rangel, Universidad de Guadalajara
Daniel M. Griffith, Saint Louis Zoo
Gerald A. Islebe, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
D. L. Kelly, University of DublinFollow
Miguel Olvera-Vargas, Universidad de Guadalajara
Stefan A. Schnitzer, Marquette UniversityFollow
E. Velazquez, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ Permoserstr
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
R. del Castillo, CIIDIR Oaxaca
I. Granzowde 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
J. E. Gordon, IUCN
Johanna Hurtado, Organization for Tropical Studies
José Linares, Escuela Agrícola Panamericana Zamorano
Susan G. Letcher, University of California - BerkeleyFollow
Scott A. Mangan, University of Wisconsin – MilwaukeeFollow
V. E. Méndez, University of Vermont
Victor Meza, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Susana Ochoa-Gaona, Unidad Villahermosa
C. 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
D. A. White, Loyola University - New Orleans
J. N. Williams, University of California - Davis
Francisco J. Bonet, Universidad de Granada
Regino Zamora, Universidad de Granada

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Asociación Española de Ecologia Terrestre

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Conservation efforts in Neotropical regions are often hindered by lack of data, since for many species there is a vacuum of information, and many species have not even been described yet. The International Network of Forest Inventory Plots (BIOTREE-NET) gathers and facilitates access to tree data from forest inventory plots in Mesoamerica, while encouraging data exchange between researchers, managers and conservationists. The information is organised and standardised into a single database that includes spatially explicit data. This article describes the scope and objectives of the network, its progress, and the challenges and future perspectives. The database includes above 50000 tree records of over 5000 species from more than 2000 plots distributed from southern Mexico through to Panama. Information is heterogeneous, both in nature and shape, as well as in the geographical coverage of inventory plots. The database has a relational structure, with 12 inter-connected tables that include information about plots, species names, dbh, and functional attributes of trees. A new system that corrects typographical errors and achieves taxonomic and nomenclatural standardization was developed using The Plant List ( as reference. Species distribution models have been computed for around 1700 species using different methods, and they will be publicly accessible through the web site in the future ( Although BIOTREE-NET has contributed to the development of improved species distribution models, its main potential lies, in our opinion, in studies at the community level. Finally, we emphasise the need to expand the network and encourage researchers willing to share data and to join the network and contribute to the generation of further knowledge about forest biodiversity in Neotropical regions.


Published version. Ecosistemas, Vol. 21, No. 1-2 (2012): 126-135. Publisher link. © 2012 The Authors.

Stefan A. Schnitzer was affiliated with University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute at the time of publication.

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