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A database application for long-term ecological field experiments

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Abstract:

Problem: A series of long-term field experiments is described, with particular reference to monitoring and quality control. This paper addresses problems in data-management of particular importance for long-term studies, including data manipulation, archiving, quality assessment, and flexible retrieval for analysis

Method: The problems were addressed using a purpose-built database system, using commercial software and running under Microsoft Windows.

Conclusion: The database system brings many advantages compared to available software, including significantly improved quality checking and access. The query system allows for easy access to data sets thus improving the efficiency of analysis. Quality assessments of the initial dataset demonstrated that the database system can also provide general insight into types and magnitudes of error in data-sets. Finally, the system can be generalised to include data from a number of different projects, thus simplifying data manipulation for meta-analysis.

Keywords: DATA ARCHIVE; ECOINFORMATICS; ECOLOGICAL DATA; ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; QUALITY ASSURANCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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