Celebrate #ESA100 & promote #openscience in ecology though synthesis by publishing your synthesis datasets. #ecosynthesis


Summarizing 100 years of ecology and looking forward should incorporate formal synthesis tools. In the spirit of promoting these efforts, for better or worse, I pulled together all the synthesis datasets I have collaborated in building and published any outstanding ones online this week.

I discovered the meta-data we keep for our derived datasets is ‘less than optimal’, that there are some similarities across synthesis datasets (particularly meta-analyses), and that as a rule of thumb figshare or oneshare are great spots for these type of data.  I realize that primary data on ecological systems absolutely needs formal meta-data and should be published in repositories with structured meta-data such as knb, but derived data can still likely have utility in other repositories. Gigascience and Scientific Data are also great homes for more complete data packages.


gif from murally

Published, representative synthesis datasets
Here are all synthesis datasets published to date.  I have only one left to dig up, clean up, and formalize before publication.

A meta-analytic dataset of plant facilitation in coastal dune systems: responses, regions, and research gaps.

Tree invasions dataset: a comparative test of the dominant hypotheses and functional traits

A meta-analysis of the ecological significance of density in tree invasion

The summary data for a review of the relationship with pollen limitation of plant reproduction

Dataset for the diversity of diversity studies: retrospectives and future directions

The relative success of studies of plant facilitation 2009

The dataset for a systematic review of the attractant-decoy and repellent- plant hypotheses: do plants with heterospecific neighbours escape herbivory?

Dataset examining functional assessment of animals with plant facilitation complexes

Dataset for A systematic review and conceptual framework for the mechanistic pathways of nurse plants

Dataset for Land management trumps the effects of climate change and elevated CO2 on grassland functioning

A systematic review of the ecological literature on cushion plants

A systematic review of arthropod community diversity in association with invasive plants

Indirect interactions in terrestrial plant communities: emerging patterns and research gaps Dataset

As a community, I would love to see the other synthesis datasets out there too. I have found quite a few but they are often in the form of online supplements associated with standard publications. There could be some really neat connections across meta-analyses between conservation, ecology, and different taxa.

If you have derived, synthesis datasets published (and done all that work to aggregate independent data), please publish then share them with the tag #ecosynthesis. If you do it leading up the ESA annual meeting, use the tag #ESA100 too and folks can explore them at the meeting!