The Universal Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) Calculator: An online tool for ecological assessment and monitoring

William A. Freyman, Linda A. Masters, Stephen Packard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Floristic Quality Assessments (FQAs) are measurements of a natural area's ecological integrity based on their plant species composition. Widely used by government agencies and conservation organizations to monitor and assess natural areas, FQA data bases have been developed for much of the United States and beyond. Here, we present the Universal FQA Calculator (http://universalFQA.org), a free, open-source web-based FQA Calculator. The calculator offers 30 FQA data bases (with more being added regularly) from across the United States and Canada and has been used to calculate thousands of assessments. The Universal FQA Calculator's growing repository for site inventory and transect data is accessible via a REST API and represents a valuable resource for data on the occurrence and abundance of plant species. We describe the features and implementation of the Universal FQA Calculator, provide a summary of its increasing usage and discuss the benefits of cloud-based storage of ecological assessment data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-383
Number of pages4
JournalMethods in Ecology and Evolution
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Assessment metrics
  • Ecological monitoring
  • Floristic Quality Assessments (FQAs)
  • Software tools

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