The COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database: an Open Online Repository for Plant Demography

Roberto Salguero-Gomez, Owen Jones, C. Ruth Archer, Yvonne Buckley, Judy Che-Castaldo, Hal Caswell, David Hodgson, Alexander Scheuerlein, Dalia Amor Conde, Erik Brinks, Hendrik de Buhr, Claudia Farack, Fränce Gottschalk, Alexander Hartmann, Anne Henning, Gabriel Hoppe, Gesa Römer, Jens Runge, Tara Ruoff, Julia WilleStefan Zeh, Dirk Vieregg, Annette Baudisch, Res Altwegg, Fernando Colchero, Ming Dong, Hans de Kroon, Jean-Dominique Lebreton, Charlotte Metcalf, Maile Neel, Ingrid Parker, Takenori Takada, Teresa Valverde, Luis Velez-Espino, Miguel Franco, James W. Vaupel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Summary: Schedules of survival, growth and reproduction are key life-history traits. Data on how these traits vary among species and populations are fundamental to our understanding of the ecological conditions that have shaped plant evolution. Because these demographic schedules determine population growth or decline, such data help us understand how different biomes shape plant ecology, how plant populations and communities respond to global change and how to develop successful management tools for endangered or invasive species. Matrix population models summarize the life cycle components of survival, growth and reproduction, while explicitly acknowledging heterogeneity among classes of individuals in the population. Matrix models have comparable structures, and their emergent measures of population dynamics, such as population growth rate or mean life expectancy, have direct biological interpretations, facilitating comparisons among populations and species. Thousands of plant matrix population models have been parameterized from empirical data, but they are largely dispersed through peer-reviewed and grey literature, and thus remain inaccessible for synthetic analysis. Here, we introduce the compadre Plant Matrix Database version 3.0, an open-source online repository containing 468 studies from 598 species world-wide (672 species hits, when accounting for species studied in more than one source), with a total of 5621 matrices. compadre also contains relevant ancillary information (e.g. ecoregion, growth form, taxonomy, phylogeny) that facilitates interpretation of the numerous demographic metrics that can be derived from the matrices. Synthesis. Large collections of data allow broad questions to be addressed at the global scale, for example, in genetics (genbank), functional plant ecology (try, bien, d3) and grassland community ecology (nutnet). Here, we present compadre, a similarly data-rich and ecologically relevant resource for plant demography. Open access to this information, its frequent updates and its integration with other online resources will allow researchers to address timely and important ecological and evolutionary questions. Synthesis: Large collections of data sets allow broad questions to be addressed at the global scale, for example, in genetics (genbank), functional plant ecology (try, bien, d3) and grassland community ecology (nutnet). Here, we present compadre, a similarly data-rich and ecologically relevant resource for plant demography. Open access to this information, its frequent updates and its integration with other online resources will allow researchers to address timely and important ecological and evolutionary questions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume103
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)202-218
ISSN0022-0477
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Big data
  • Comparative approach
  • Elasticity
  • Matrix population model
  • Open access
  • Plant population and community dynamics
  • Population growth rate
  • Sensitivity
  • Transient dynamics

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