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sPlot : a new tool for global vegetation analyses

Bruelheide, Helge; Dengler, J�rgen; Jim�nez-Alfaro, Borja; Purschke, Oliver; Hennekens, Stephan M.; Chytr�, Milan; Pillar, Val�rio D.; Jansen, Florian; Kattge, Jens; Sandel, Brody; Aubin, Isabelle; Biurrun, Idoia; Field, Richard; Haider, Sylvia; Jandt, Ute; Lenoir, Jonathan; Peet, Robert K.; Peyre, Gwendolyn; Sabatini, Francesco Maria; Schmidt, Marco; Schrodt, Franziska; Winter, Marten; and other 116 authors


Helge Bruelheide

J�rgen Dengler

Borja Jim�nez-Alfaro

Oliver Purschke

Stephan M. Hennekens

Milan Chytr�

Val�rio D. Pillar

Florian Jansen

Jens Kattge

Brody Sandel

Isabelle Aubin

Idoia Biurrun

Sylvia Haider

Ute Jandt

Jonathan Lenoir

Robert K. Peet

Gwendolyn Peyre

Francesco Maria Sabatini

Marco Schmidt

Marten Winter

and other 116 authors


Questions: Vegetation-plot records provide information on presence and cover or abundance of plants co-occurring in the same community. Vegetation-plot data are spread across research groups, environmental agencies and biodiversity research centers, and thus, are rarely accessible at continental or global scales. Here we present the sPlot database, which collates vegetation plots worldwide to allow for the exploration of global patterns in taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity at the plant community level.
Location: sPlot version 2.1 contains records from 1,121,244 vegetation plots, which comprise 23,586,216 records of plant species and their relative cover or abundance in plots collected between 1885 and 2015.
Methods: We complemented the information for each plot by retrieving environmental conditions (i.e. climate and soil) and the biogeographic context (i.e. biomes) from external sources, and by calculating community-weighted means and variances of traits using gap-filled data from the global plant trait database TRY. Moreover, we created a phylogenetic tree for 50,167 out of the 54,519 species identified in the plots.
Results: We present the first maps of global patterns of community richness and community-weighted means of key traits.
Conclusions: The availability of vegetation plot data in sPlot offers new avenues for vegetation analysis at the global scale.


Bruelheide, H., Dengler, J., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Purschke, O., Hennekens, S. M., Chytrý, M., …and other 116 authors. (2019). sPlot : a new tool for global vegetation analyses. Journal of Vegetation Science, 30(2), 161-186.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 15, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 4, 2019
Publication Date 2019-03
Deposit Date Nov 19, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 5, 2020
Journal Journal of Vegetation Science
Print ISSN 1100-9233
Electronic ISSN 1654-1103
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 2
Pages 161-186
Keywords Plant Science; Ecology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at
This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


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