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InboVeg - NICHE-Vlaanderen groundwater related vegetation relevés for Flanders, Belgium

Latest version published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on Aug 3, 2016 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

The NICHE-Vlaanderen project had the goal to develop an hydro-ecological prediction model, used in ecological impact assessment studies. The data in this dataset is part of the vegetation-plot data used to feed the model and contains groundwater depending terrestrial vegetation relevées in relation to groundwater levels. Vegetation plot relevés were performed near selected piezometers (WATINA database, groundwater network Flanders) between May and August in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Initially the vegetation surveys were recorded in Turboveg (Hennekens, 1998) and later on moved to INBOVEG, the INBO vegetation plot database. The dataset contains 569 vegetation relevées, recorded during the fieldwork of the NICHE-Vlaanderen project. Relevées contain species coverage data, coverage data for layers, vegetation height and the date of recording. All the vegetation relevées were classified as vegetation types.

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 555 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 555 records in English (170 KB) - Update frequency: not planned
Metadata as an EML file download in English (15 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (12 KB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

De Bie E, Brosens D, Desmet P (2016): InboVeg - NICHE-Vlaanderen groundwater related vegetation relevés for Flanders, Belgium. v1.6. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Dataset/Samplingevent. doi:10.15468/gouexm


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 3d1231e8-2554-45e6-b354-e590c56ce9a8.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


Samplingevent; relevés; groundwater dependent vegetation; WATINA; terrestrial survey


Who created the resource:

Els De Bie
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Kliniekstraat 25 1070 Brussels Brussels Capital Region BE
Dimitri Brosens
Data liaison officer
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Kliniekstraat 25 1070 Brussels Brussels Capital Region BE
Peter Desmet
LifeWatch team coordinator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Kliniekstraat 25 1070 Brussels Brussels Capital Region BE

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Els De Bie
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Kliniekstraat 25 1070 Brussels Brussels Capital Region BE

Who filled in the metadata:

Els De Bie
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Kliniekstraat 25 1070 Brussels Brussels Capital Region BE

Who else was associated with the resource:

Samenwerking Vlaams Water (SVW)
Samenwerking Vlaams Water (SVW) Mechelsesteenweg 64 2018 Antwerp Antwerp BE
Pidpa Desguinlei 246 2018 Antwerp Antwerp BE
De Watergroep
De Watergroep Vooruitgangstraat 189 1030 Brussels Brussels Capital Region BE
Flanders Environment Agency (VMM)
Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) Dokter De Moorstraat 24-26 9300 Aalst East Flanders BE
KiWa Sir Winston Churchill-laan 273 2288 Rijswijk NL

Geographic Coverage

Flanders, Watina (Water in Nature Reserves) Network Flanders, Belgium Flanders has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, with relatively moderate summers and mild winters. Flanders is the northern part of Belgium. The two main geographical regions of Flanders are the Yser basin, in the North-West and the central plain. All the vegetation survey data originates from plots close to the measuring points of the WATINA hydrologic monitoring network in Flanders.

Bounding Coordinates South West [50.68, 2.54], North East [51.51, 5.92]

Taxonomic Coverage

For every vegetation plot the tracheophytes and bryophytes were determined.

Kingdom  Plantae
Phylum  Tracheophyta (vascular plants),  Bryophyta (mosses)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2002-05-21 / 2005-07-07

Sampling Methods

Sampling Methods Vegetation surveys Vegetation, neighbouring each WATINA Piezometer is described using a nearby vegetation plot. In forests the plot measures 10X10m² in open vegetations this plot measures 3X3 m². The Piezometer usually is one of the corners of the plot. A orientated location sketch was created for every survey, to make repeatability possible. For every plot, all occurring species were determined and for every vertical layer (Trees, Shrubs, Herbs and Mosses) the coverage was measured (Londo scale). Londo scale Low coverage High coverage Code coverage Code coverage *.1 1% 1- 5-10% *.2 2-3% 1+ 10-15% *.4 4-5% 2 15-25% combination with: 3 25-35% r. some occurrences (1 or 2) 4 35-45% p. little occurrences (about 10) 5 45-55% a. many occurrences (about 100) 6 55-65% m. a lot occurrences (about 1000) 7 65-75% 8 75-85% 9 85-95% 10 95-100%

Study Extent InboVeg Niche Vlaanderen Vegetation plot surveys were performed between May and July 2002 near selected Piezometers (INBO-watina project). Coördinates were registered with a GPS.
Quality Control Records are validated

Method step description:

  1. Vegetation relevé data is recorded in the InboVeg database. This data was mapped to Darwin Core by creating a specific view. We mapped the data to Darwin core event, Darwin Core occurrence extension and Darwin Core Measurements or Facts for the specific Relevé data. In our sandbox ipt the releve data is also mapped to Darwin Core GBIF releve. This data is only available on

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Rogiers, B., Lermytte, J., De Bie, E. and Batelaan, O., 2011. Evaluating the impact of river restoration on the local groundwater and ecological system: a case study in NE Flanders. Geologica Belgica, 14 (3-4), 265-276
  2. Callebaut J., De Bie E., Huybrechts W. & De Becker P. (2007) NICHE-Vlaanderen. SVW, 1-7.

Additional Metadata

To allow anyone to use this dataset, we have released the data to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver ( We would appreciate however, if you read and follow these norms for data use ( and provide a link to the original dataset ( whenever possible. If you use these data for a scientific paper, please cite the dataset following the applicable citation norms and/or consider us for co-authorship. We are always interested to know how you have used or visualized the data, or to provide more information, so please contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata, or Issues related to the dataset can by submitted here:

Purpose The goal of "NICHE-Vlaanderen" is to adapt the Dutch hydro-ecological prediction model “NICHE (Nature Impact Assessment of Changes in Hydro‐Ecological Systems)" for Flanders. The "NICHE-Vlaanderen" tool will be used to predict the effects on vegetation due to changes in hydrological conditions. This dataset only contains the vegetation plot data collected during the time of the project (2002 – 2006). The complete NICHE-Vlaanderen set also contains data of literature.
Alternative Identifiers 3d1231e8-2554-45e6-b354-e590c56ce9a8