VegMV – the vegetation database of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
biodiversity informatics, Germany, phytosociology, plant community, Relevé, vegetation plot
We review VegMV, the phytosociological database of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (NE Germany) with electronically stored vegetation relevés (GIVD ID EU-DE-001). The database was established in 1994 and is now hosted by the Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, Germany (http://www.botanik.uni-greifswald.de/VegMV). On 27 October 2011, the database contained 53,842 relevés, mostly from the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, collected by approximately 320 au- thors between 1928 and 2010. Some 28% of the relevés were taken from published papers or monographs, 42% from theses and 30% from various unpublished reports and “field books”. A wide variety of habitats occurring in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are repre- sented, but territorial coverage by relevés is uneven, with lower coverage of less attractive and poorly accessible areas. The largest numbers of relevés are from managed grasslands (Molinio-Arrhenatheretea), arable land (Stellarietea mediae), and eutrophic reed communities (Phragmito-Magno-Caricetea). We quantify and discuss possible bias in the data, such as preferential selection of sam- pling sites (habitat and small-scale preferences), taxonomic inconsistencies, spatial agglomeration, and missing values for some data elements. We present a brief introduction to the consistent phytosociological vegetation classification developed using the VegMV data. Further applications of the data and the conditions for their use are reported.