Sharing Chinese Plant Trait Data
A Blog post by Sandy Harrison (WDS-SC Chair)
Just returned from a useful trip to visit my collaborators working with the 'Chinese plant trait database' at the Northwestern Agricultural and Forestry University in Yangling, China. We now have information from several hundred sites across China, and this will allow us to make detailed analyses of trait–climate relationships. But trips like these remind me that data are the bitcoin of Chinese science. It requires management of complex social networks to put together a dataset this large, but there are always people outside these networks who nevertheless could contribute. And then, once the science is done, what happens to the data? There is an international database for plant trait data, but where is the trusted repository for such data in China? My young collaborators are keen to share openly with other scientists and we need to make this easier. China is one of the few countries that has a national group supporting WDS activities – guess what I am going to be talking to them about next? Sandy H.