Photo by Florencia Grattarola on iNaturalist

Biodiversidata: A novel dataset for the vascular plant species diversity in Uruguay

Photo by Florencia Grattarola on iNaturalist

Biodiversidata: A novel dataset for the vascular plant species diversity in Uruguay

Abstract

South America hosts some of the world’s most prominent biodiversity hotspots. Yet, Uruguay – a country where multiple major ecosystems converge – ranks amongst the countries with the lowest levels of available digital biodiversity data in the continent. Such prevalent data scarcity has significantly undermined our ability to progress towards evidence-based conservation actions – a critical limitation for a country with a strong focus on agricultural industries and only 1.3% of the land surface guarded by protected areas. Under today’s rapid biodiversity loss and environmental changes, the need for open-access biodiversity data is more pressing than ever before. To address this national issue, Biodiversidata – Uruguay’s first Consortium of Biodiversity Data – has recently emerged with the aim of assembling a constantly growing database for the biodiversity of this country. While the first phase of the project targeted vertebrate biodiversity, the second phase presented in this paper spans the biodiversity of plants. As part of the second phase of the Biodiversidata initiative, we present the first comprehensive open-access species-level database of the vascular plant diversity recorded in Uruguay to date (i.e.: all species for which data is currently available and species presence has been confirmed). It contains 12,470 occurrence records from across 1,648 species and 160 families, which roughly represents 60% of the total recorded flora of Uruguay. The primary biodiversity data include extant native and introduced species from the lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms groups. Records were collated from multiple sources including data available in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, institutional scientific collections, and datasets contributed by members of the Biodiversidata initiative. The complete database can be accessed at the Zenodo repository: doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3954406

Publication
Biodiversity Data Journal, 8:e56850
Florencia Grattarola
Coordinator

Founder of Biodiversidata