The STOICH Database

Harnessing environmental data collected across wide spatial and temporal scales

Building the Database

The Need

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 Response

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.

Database Structure

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Contains information about sources including DOI, citation, source type (repository, agency, published/unpublished, etc.)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