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As one of eleven Long-Term Ecological Research Program sites in the nation (designated by the National Science Foundation), the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research has developed a flexible system for the management and analysis of ecological data. The Baruch Data Management System (BDMS) contains over four years of data collected from ecological research on coastal and estuarine habitats. Important design features of information bases for long-term monitoring are described.
Since temporal variability is an inherent part of ecological data sets, it is important to delineate those periods when sampling must be intensified and periods when sampling can be decreased without compromising documentation of the processes under question. Examples of analyses of temporal variability for one of the biological data sets (macrobenthos) are presented, and a case is made for the importance of long-term monitoring efforts to the generation of process-related experiments.
benthic invertebrates, data base management, ecology, estuarine systems, information base, statistical methods, temporal variation
Research data administrator, Baruch Institute, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Assistant professor, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Director, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC