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All of the ecology lessons use the same data set throughout. The data is tabular (rows and columns), similar in structure to what you might have in a spreadsheet.

The Portal Project Teaching Database

Available on FigShare:

The data used in the ecology lessons is a time-series for a small mammal community in southern Arizona. This is part of a project studying the effects of rodents and ants on the plant community that has been running for almost 40 years. The rodents are sampled on a series of 24 plots, with different experimental manipulations controlling which rodents are allowed to access which plots.

This is a real dataset that has been used in over 100 publications. We've simplified it just a little bit for the workshop, but you can download the full dataset and work with it using exactly the same tools we'll learn about today.

Files we use in this dataset:

  • surveys.csv - the survey data
    Fields: record_id, month, day, year, plot_id, species_id, sex, hindfoot_length, weight
  • plots.csv - information on plot number and type
    Fields: plot_id, plot_type
  • species.csv - information on species codes and scientific name
    Fields: species_id, genus, species, taxa
  • portal_mammals.sqlite - database of survey, plots and species tables