[Tdwg-obs] Survey and Monitoring

Hannu Saarenmaa hsaarenmaa at gbif.org
Tue Nov 15 11:02:44 CET 2005

Good support for plot observations is important, because that is how the 
forestry community manages their data. If they can identify their own 
concepts in this standard, that willl potentially open access to a very 
large number of databases.  Forest plots are not really different from 
vegetation plots, as described below by Bob.  The most notable addition 
would be measurements of diameter, height, etc. These may not have 
direct relevance for biodiversity studies but in order to find 
acceptance from the forestry community, I think it would be advantageous 
to design an easy mechanism for linking such data to the plot 
observation data.  In forest surveys there also often are observations 
on harmful agents (insects, etc.) that would be linked to some of the 
tree cohorts in a plot.

Regards, Hannu Saarenmaa

Robert K. Peet wrote:

>Like Lynn, I would like the observations standard to support observations 
>of communities as well as individual organisms
>Consider the VegBank approach
>A vegetation plot (location) can have multiple plotObservation events, 
>each of which can have multiple taxonObservation events (collectively such 
>as density, or of individuals), each of which can have multiple 
>identification events, each of which can refer to multiple taxonomic 
>concepts.  In addition, the plotObservation can have multiple 
>identifications, and each of these can refer to multiple community 
>With this approach permanent information about the location, such as 
>geocoordinates, is associated with the plot.  Transient information about 
>the plot is recorded with the plotObservation and here we also could refer 
>to protocols applied. Monitoring can be handled by a recursive loop 
>linking plotObservations or taxonObservations
>Bob Peet
>  ======================================================================
>      Robert K. Peet, Professor & Chair         Phone:  919-962-6942
>      Curriculum in Ecology, CB#3275            Fax:    919-962-6930
>      University of North Carolina              Cell:   919-368-4971
>      Chapel Hill, NC  27599-3275  USA          Email:  peet at unc.edu
>                    http://www.unc.edu/depts/ecology/
>                  http://www.bio.unc.edu/faculty/peet/
>  ======================================================================
>>Message: 1
>>Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 15:35:44 -0500
>>From: Steve Kelling <stk2 at cornell.edu>
>>Subject: [Tdwg-obs] Survey and Monitoring
>>            I apologize for the delay in posting to the listserve. As I am
>>sure it is true for you, it has been quite hectic for me.
>>            My feeling is that we have a good definition for the
>>integrative element of observational data. That is, the element in which
>>observational data can be (and is) incorporated in existing Natural History
>>collections data. To reiterate;
>>An observation is a collection event that describes a phenomenon, and is
>>bound to the spatiotemporal location where it was made. Furthermore, an
>>observation describes an occurrence and can be linked to descriptions of
>>other occurrences.
>>            Now we can begin to talk about the methods of aggregating
>>observations. To do this means issues such as protocol (including
>>precision, accuracy, and certainty in the methods), data quality, inferring
>>negative data, and detectability must be addressed. It is at this point
>>where observational data can begin to contribute and extend the value of
>>the data held within biodiversity data networks.
>>            What I would like to do is begin a discussion on
>>survey/monitoring techniques and issues. Specifically I would like to
>>develop the necessary requirements to define methodology metadata. For
>>example, how does one distinguish between surveys and monitoring? For
>>example, I consider monitoring as a protocol- driven collection of
>>observational data gathered repeatedly over a time series at a specific
>>location. Thus, I would distinguish monitoring from a survey in that a
>>survey documents an occurrence of an organism(s) at a location at a
>>particular time, and does not include repeated sampling.
>>Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you.
>>Steve Kelling
>>Cornell Lab of Ornithology
>>607-254-2478 (work)
>>607-342-1029 (cell)
>Tdwg-obs mailing list
>Tdwg-obs at lists.tdwg.org

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