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Ecological Indicator Values for Europe (EIVE) 1.0

Aims: To develop a consistent ecological indicator value system for Europe for five of the main plant niche dimensions: soil moisture (M), soil nitrogen (N), soil reaction (R), light (L) and temperature (T). Study area: Europe (and closely adjacent regions). Methods: We identified 31 indicator value systems for vascular plants in Europe that contained assessments on at least one of the five aforementioned niche dimensions. We rescaled the indicator values of each dimension to a continuous scale, in which 0 represents the minimum and 10 the maximum value present in Europe. Taxon names were harmonised to the Euro+Med Plantbase. For each of the five dimensions, we calculated European values for niche position and niche width by combining the values from the individual EIV systems. Using T values as an example, we externally validated our European indicator values against the median of bioclimatic conditions for global occurrence data of the taxa. Results: In total, we derived European indicator values of niche position and niche width for 14,835 taxa (14,714 for M, 13,748 for N, 14,254 for R, 14,054 for L, 14,496 for T). Relating the obtained values for temperature niche position to the bioclimatic data of species yielded a higher correlation than any of the original EIV systems (r = 0.859). The database: The newly developed Ecological Indicator Values for Europe (EIVE) 1.0, together with all source systems, is available in a flexible, harmonised open access database. ConclusionsEIVE is the most comprehensive ecological indicator value system for European vascular plants to date. The uniform interval scales for niche position and niche width provide new possibilities for ecological and macroecological analyses of vegetation patterns. The developed workflow and documentation will facilitate the future release of updated and expanded versions of EIVE, which may for example include the addition of further taxonomic groups, additional niche dimensions, external validation or regionalisation.” read the publication