Poisot, T., Baiser, B.,Dunne, J.A.,Kefi, S.,Massol, F.,Mouquet, N.,Romanuk, T.N.,Stouffer, D.B.,Wood, S.A.,Gravel, D.(2016).

Ecography, 39, 384-390, doi:10.1111/ecog.00976

Key message : The study of ecological networks is severely limited by 1) the difficulty to access data, 2) the lack of a standardized way to link meta-data with interactions, and 3) the disparity of formats in which ecological networks themselves are stored and represented. To overcome these limitations, we have designed a data specifi cation for ecological networks. We implemented a database respecting this standard, and released an R package ( rmangal) allowing users to programmatically access, curate, and deposit data on ecological interactions. In this article, we show how these tools, in conjunction with other frameworks for the programmatic manipulation of open ecological data, streamlines the analysis process and improves replicability and reproducibility of ecological network studies.

Spatial plot of a network, using the maps and rmangal packages. Th e circles in the inset map show the location of the sites. Each dot in the main map represents a species, with symbiotic mutualisms drawn between them. Th e land is in grey.

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OTHER TOPICS: Aesthetics of Biodiversity, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Functioning, Biogeography, Macroecology & Ecophylogenetics, Experimental Evolution, Functional Biogeography, Functional Rarity, Metacommunities, Metaecosystems, Reviews and Synthesis, Trophic Biogeography & Metaweb