Scientific publication

A fine-tuned global distribution dataset of marine forests

Open-source dataset with distribution records of marine forests compiled from literature, herbaria, digital repositories and citizen science initiatives.

Species distribution records are a prerequisite to follow climate-induced range shifts across space and time. However, synthesizing information from various sources such as peer-reviewed literature, herbaria, digital repositories and citizen science initiatives is not only costly and time consuming, but also challenging, as data may contain thematic and taxonomic errors and generally lack standardized formats.

We address this gap for important marine ecosystem-structuring species of large brown algae and seagrasses. We gathered distribution records from various sources and provide a fine-tuned dataset with ~2.8 million dereplicated records, taxonomically standardized for 682 species, and considering important physiological and biogeographical traits.

Marine forests

A flagging system was implemented to signal potentially incorrect records reported on land, in regions with limiting light conditions for photosynthesis, and outside the known distribution of species, as inferred from the most recent published literature.

Data can be downloaded at as a tabulated file.

We document the procedure and provide a dataset in tabular format based on Darwin Core Standard (DwC), alongside with a set of functions in R language for data management and visualization.

Main reference

Assis, J., Fragkopoulou, E., Frade, D., Neiva, J., Oliveira, A., Abecasis, D., et al. (2020). A fine-tuned global distribution dataset of marine forests. Scientific Data 7, 1–9.

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Jorge Assis [PhD, Research Assistant]
Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve [Faro, Portugal]
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