Major World Ecosystem Complexes Ranked by Carbon in Live Vegetation: A Database (Revised November 2000)

J. S. Olson, J. A. Watts, and L. J. Allison

DOI: 10.3334/CDIAC/lue.ndp017

In 1980, this data base and the corresponding map were completed after more than 20 years of field investigations, consultations, and analyses of published literature. They characterize the use and vegetative cover of the Earth's land surface with a 0.5° × 0.5° grid. This world-ecosystem-complex data set and the accompanying map provide a current reference base for interpreting the role of vegetation in the global cycling of CO2 and other gases and a basis for improved estimates of vegetation and soil carbon, of natural exchanges of CO2, and of net historic shifts of carbon between the biosphere and the atmosphere. The data are presented in two alternative files: one matrix file of 122 kB, providing latitude, longitude, and ecosystem code; and one flat file (simpler format and additional information on ecosystem name; gridcell area; and medium, revised medium, minimum, and maximum estimates of carbon density) of 16.8 MB uncompressed or 2 MB compressed.

NDP-017 includes the following data and documentation files:

*see CDIAC's Anonymous FTP Service for information on how to download compressed data files
Users should also note that updated versions of this database are available from other sources. Olson's World Ecosystems (WE1.4) database is available from the National Geophysical Data Center as part of its Global Ecosystems Database (GED) Version II (2000).
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