New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2021) 45(2): 3440

New Zealand Environmental Data Stack (NZEnvDS): A standardised collection of spatial layers for environmental modelling and site characterisation

Research Article
James K. McCarthy 1*
John R. Leathwick 2
Pierre Roudier 3,4
James R. F. Barringer 1
Thomas R. Etherington 1
Fraser J. Morgan 4,5
Nathan P. Odgers 1
Robbie H. Price 6
Susan K. Wiser 1
Sarah J. Richardson 1
  1. Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, Lincoln 7640, New Zealand
  2. john.leathwick@gmail.com
  3. Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
  4. Te Pūnaha Matatini, A New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
  5. Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, Auckland 1072, New Zealand
  6. Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

Environmental variation is a crucial driver of ecological pattern, and spatial layers representing this variation are key to understanding and predicting important ecosystem distributions and processes. A national, standardised collection of different environmental gradients has the potential to support a variety of large-scale research questions, but to date these data sets have been limited and difficult to obtain. Here we describe the New Zealand Environmental Data Stack (NZEnvDS), a comprehensive set of 72 environmental layers quantifying spatial patterns of climate, soil, topography and terrain, as well as geographical distance at 100 m resolution, covering New Zealand’s three main islands and surrounding inshore islands. NZEnvDS includes layers from the Land Environments of New Zealand (LENZ), additional layers generated for LENZ but never publicly released, and several additional layers generated more recently. We also include an analysis of correlation between variables. All final NZEnvDS layers, their original source layers, and the R-code used to generate them are available publicly for download at https://doi.org/10.7931/m6rm-vz40.