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Title: A review of the state of vegetation plot data in Western Australia in response to comments by Neil Gibson
Contributor(s): Gellie, Nicholas J H (author); Hunter, John T  (author); Benson, John S (author); McCreery, Kelli (author)
Publication Date: 2018
DOI: 10.1127/phyto/2018/0283
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Abstract: We respond to Neil Gibson's reply to our paper "Overview of plot-based classification approaches within Australia" where Gibson advised on the location of plot data held by the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions (DBCA). Based on that advice we have tabulated the available vegetation plot data on DBCA's NatureMap site. NatureMap stores vegetation plot data as Excel files within data directories rather than in a unified database. We accessed 5,318 vegetation plots from 19 flora surveys sourced from NatureMap and a further 1144 from other government or university sources. In addition, we sourced a further 9,588 vegetation survey sites in a privately-held database. We updated the bioregional analyses of plots for WA, outlined in Gellie et al. 2018, using the combined plot data. It is likely additional data exists that would increase the plot density in Western Australian bioregions. Irrespective, our updated analysis of all the plots we located indicates the quantities are well below that required for either supervised or unsupervised vegetation classification, except for a few sub-bioregional areas. From a practical perspective, the plot data held by DCBA as Excel files are not readily available to external users. Few of the WA data are assigned cover or abundance scores with implications for statistical classification of vegetation types. Adopting a sampling protocol that conforms to a national standard would enhance plot data consistency for recording site and floristic attributes. WA DBCA data could more usefully be stored in a properly constructed centralised vegetation plot database containing government and non-government data maintained to agreed standards with protocols for ensuring plant taxonomy is maintained.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Phytocoenologia, 48(3), p. 325-330
Publisher: Gebrueder Borntraeger Verlagsbuchhandlung
Place of Publication: Germany
ISSN: 2363-7153
Field of Research (FOR): 050206 Environmental Monitoring
060208 Terrestrial Ecology
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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