Data Set Citation:
When using this data, please cite the data package:
NCEAS 2264: Murdoch: Complex Population Dynamics , National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis , and Prendergast J.
The Global Population Dynamics Database
nceas.167.15 (
General Information:
Title:The Global Population Dynamics Database
As a source of animal and plant population data, The Global Population Dynamics Database is unrivalled. Nearly five thousand separate time series are available here. In addition to all the population counts, there are taxonomic details of over 1400 species. The type of data contained in the GPDD varies enormously, from annual counts of mammals or birds at individual sampling sites, to weekly counts of zooplankton and other marine fauna. The project commenced in October 1994, following discussions on ways in which the collaborating partners could make a practical and enduring contribution to research into population dynamics. A small team was assembled and, with assistance and advice from numerous interested parties we decided to construct the database using the popular Microsoft Access platform. After an initial design phase, the major task has been that of locating, extracting, entering and validating the data in all the various tables. Now, nearly 5000 individual datasets have been entered onto the GPDD. The Global Population Dynamics Database comprises six Tables of data and information. The tables are linked to each other as shown in the diagram shown at Referential integrity is maintained through record ID numbers which are held, along with other information in the Main Table. It's structure obeys all the rules of a standard relational database.
  • time series data (theme)
  • animal populations (taxonomic)
  • plant populations (taxonomic)
  • count data (theme)
Data Table, Image, and Other Data Details:
Metadata download: Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File
Other Data:GPDDdist.mdb ( View Metadata | Download File download)

Involved Parties

Data Set Creators:
Organization:NCEAS 2264: Murdoch: Complex Population Dynamics
Organization:National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Individual: John Prendergast
Centre for Population Biology Imperial College, Silwood Park,
Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY United Kingdom
01344 294472 (voice)
01344 873173 (Fax)
Email Address:
Data Set Contacts:
Individual: Glen Dawkins
NERC Centre for Population Biology Imperial College London Silwood Park campus,
Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY United Kingdom
44 (0)20 7594 2475 (voice)
44 (0)1344 873173 (Fax)
Email Address:
Associated Parties:
Individual: Rob Anderson
Individual: Ellen Bazeley-White
Metadata Providers:
Individual: Andrea Chadden

Data Set Characteristics

Geographic Region:
Geographic Description:Worldwide.
Bounding Coordinates:
West:  -180  degrees
East:  180  degrees
North:  90  degrees
South:  -90  degrees
Time Period:

Sampling, Processing and Quality Control Methods

Step by Step Procedures
Step 1:  

Collection of time series data

The time series in the database come from both published and unpublished sources. They have been located in a variety of ways: (1) By systematically searching back issues of the predominant ecological and science journals; (2) By following citation trails: when a suitable time series is located in a publication, there are usually one or more references to similar or comparable studies in the citations list: every paper tends to lead to another paper. (3) By searching the world wide web, where an increasing number of ecological datasets are being made available. (4) By searching promising book titles. The vintage literature often contains a wealth of tabulated data of varying types, and we have drawn extensively upon the resources of the Imperial College library and the British Library to locate many long-out-of-print volumes. (5) By negotiating access to unpublished data. Through our network of professional contacts we have endeavoured to locate unpublished data which collectors are prepared to contribute to the project. Quite often, and quite understandably, collectors prefer to retain data for their own use, at least until they have published. We have, however been delighted at the selfless response of several collectors, who have donated unpublished data with no, or few, restrictions. All datasets are fully referenced in the database, and, before embarking on any analysis, we encourage you to locate and refer to the original source material wherever possible. In most case we have been able to provide the complete citation to enable you to do this.

Data Set Usage Rights

Register on the website.
Access Control:
Auth System:knb
Metadata download: Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File