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Plant Sociology numero 49 (2)

pag. 71-79: VegItaly: Technical features, crucial issues and some solutions

D. Gigante1, A.T.R. Acosta2, E. Agrillo3, F. Attorre3, V.E. Cambria3, S. Casavecchia4, A. Chiarucci5, E. Del Vico3, M. De Sanctis3, L. Facioni3, F. Geri5, R. Guarino6, S. Landi5, F. Landucci1, D. Lucarini8, E. Panfili9, S. Pesaresi4, I. Prisco2, L. Rosati7, F. Spada3, R. Venanzoni1

1Department of Applied Biology, University of Perugia, 06121 Perugia, Italy
2Department of Environmental Biology, University of Rome 3, 00145 Roma, Italy
3Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Roma, Italy
4Department of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Marche Polytechnic University, 60131 Ancona, Italy
5Department of Environmental Science ‘G. Sarfatti’, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
6Department of Environmental Biology and Biodiversity, University of Palermo, 90123 Palermo, Italy
7Department of Biology DBAF, University of Basilicata, 85100 Potenza, Italy
8Museum-Botanical Garden, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, MC, Italy
9Aspix Consultancy Company, 06023 Gualdo Tadino, PG, Italy

doi: 10.7338/pls2012492/05

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abstract

VegItaly is at present the largest Italian vegetation database. It is the result of a collaborative project aspiring to represent a major reference for the Italian vegetation scientists. The paper emphasizes its benefits for phytosociological data management and describes the solutions adopted to solve several technical problems, like the treatment of different vegetation stratification systems, the conversion of vegetation cover values, taxonomic and syntaxonomic issues, data import and access. The structure of the taxonomic list produced to support the storing of data is described. It allows an easy management of synonymic relationships and is constantly updated according to new publications and revisions. Issues related to data import from different formats have been solved by developing assistant software VegImport and TabImport, which are based on the most used formats in vegetation plot archiving. Bibliographic sources are managed according to the LISY standard and include descriptive geographic information, bibliographic and syntaxonomic reference. Distinct data access regimes can be selected by VegItaly's users: visible, partly visible, invisible. Compared with the original project outline, many fundamental parts of the database structure have been fully built up, although several utilities still have to be developed or improved.

keywords

data sharing, ecoinformatics, Italian vegetation database, phytosociology, syntaxonomy, taxonomic list, vegetation plot