Harnessing environmental data collected across wide spatial and temporal scales
Building the Database
The supply of elements and energy governs biological activity from cellular to ecosystem scales and can be profoundly influenced by human activity. Previous studies have used the ecological stoichiometry framework to examine how the relative supply of elements influences biogeochemistry and food webs in inland aquatic ecosystems. However, our ability to test stoichiometric theory at broad spatial scales across these ecosystems has been hampered by the lack of a comprehensive stoichiometry database.
The Ecological Stoichiometry Cooperative (ESC) is aiming to address this need by building a new database called Stoichiometric Traits of Organisms In their Chemical Habitats (STOICH). The construction of this database is one of the main objectives of the ES Cooperative’s NSF-funded STOICH project.
Contribute to the Database or help us identify Data Gaps
The ESC aims to encourage community member contributions to the STOICH database. With each contribution, the breadth of this database will increase, as well as its value to scientists who use it. We are excited for the STOICH project to assist our community in addressing stoichiometric questions regarding ecosystems, communities, organisms, and evolution.
We have identified six modules which will form the core of the STOICH database. These modules include supporting metadata, defined terminology, units, data inclusion criteria, and common identifiers in the form of unique datasource, sample event, and site information IDs. The common identifiers allow data derived from the same dataset but located in multiple modules to be linked and viewed as a cohesive dataset by STOICH database users.
Module 1: Data Sources
Contains information about sources including DOI, citation, source type (repository, agency, published/unpublished, etc.)
Module 2: Site Information
Contains static geographic data including water body name, ecosystem type, trophic status, latitude/longitude, elevation
Module 3: Sample Event
Contains time-sensitive field data including date, habitat, temperature, basic water chemistry (pH, conductivity, etc.)
Module 4: Animal Stoichiometry
Contains core animal stoichiometry data such as taxonomic information, development stage, C/N/P content and ratios, body size, notes about sample pooling
Module 5: Resource Stoichiometry
Contains core resource stoichiometry data such as resource type, spatial and statistical pooling, C/N/P content and ratios, chlorophyll
Module 6: Water Chemistry
Contains core water stoichiometry data such as DOC, NH4, NO3, PO4, TN/TP, TDN/TDP