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