A central BIEN goal is to bring together data on plant distribution, abundance and traits, with the goal of predicting and mitigating the effects of climate change on plant species and communities.
The BIEN database provides a common schema for merging georeferenced observations of individuals and species from specimens, vegetation inventories, and regional checklists, with measurements of species-level traits such as size, growth form, wood density, specific leaf area, etc. Currently these primary data are available only to members of the BIEN working group. However, our goal is to make available via this website any data whose owner is willing to make public access. We are currently working on securing distribution permissions. Derived products such as species niche models and range maps will also be made publicly available through the BIEN website.
BIEN can also manage data not yet ready for public release. We will provide tools to enable researchers to share their data selectively with other researchers on an individual basis. The development of user-managed data networking tools is central to BIEN's mission of promoting collaboration and enabling research at regional and global scales.
Below is a summary of data in the current (BIEN 2) database.