THE SOIL BIODIVERSITY DATABASE
Please note: This research Programme is no longer active
The Soil Biodiversity Database was designed to store and link information on all aspects of the Programme's research. It includes information such as details of the site structure, treatment applications and site visits (e.g. sampling, measurement and experiment details) through to baseline datasets (e.g. soil & vegetation surveys, meteorology, topography) as well as the more detailed project results datasets. In addition it stores meta-information such as data definitions, coding systems and analytical methods, necessary to fully describe the data held. A relational database design was adopted and the diagram below gives an overview of the structure and content of the database.
By structuring the Soil Biodiversity data in a relational database all the various components of the 'system' are inherently linked. This gives great flexibility in terms of being able to interrogate the information within the database, and makes it relatively easy to extract or summarise information at a number of different levels, or based on a variety of elements.
The following gives an example of a simple database query using Microsoft Access (which is a Relational Database Management System (RDMS)). This query summarises the number of sample units taken by each project and by plot type, based on data in the Soil Biodiversity Database as at 29 May 2000. Note, the Mainplot, Subplot, Cells & Loc_code tables shown are all part of the 'Site Stucture' entity given in the overview diagram above.
Programme participants with specific requests for information from the database should contact the data management section within the Programme (see data management page).