NatureServe's biodiversity data model, the focus of refinement
and evolution over more than 25 years, reflects a set of inventory and data
management standards and protocols referred to as natural
heritage methodology. Adhered to by each of the network members, this model
and the associated standards and protocols are encapsulated in NatureServe's
Biotics 4 software. Biotics 4 represents the eighth generation of data management
software developed by NatureServe for use by network participants.
Element-referenced objects incorporated in the data model include information that relates to a species or community's identity (including name and classification), status, general distribution, and life history characteristics. Spatial entities in the data model include the location and bounds of a species population or community stand, sites of ecological, scientific, or conservation interest, and areas under protective management.
Because of the widespread use of
element occurrence data in land and natural resource management and regulatory decisions, inaccuracies can be costly. NatureServe's data development and management approach therefore emphasizes data quality over data quantity. A detailed and rigorous set of scientific methods has been developed for documenting and mapping element occurrences, which incorporates estimates of uncertainty and accuracy and includes three distinct quality assurance steps. Metadata for each record allows users to select records that meet specific requirements for precision, accuracy, or date that the occurrence was documented.
To Learn More
For complete documentation of NatureServe's biodiversity data model and associated metadata, see the links below.