Neill, Amanda , Janovec, John , Best, Jason H. .
Rapid Floras for the 21st Century: Virtually Connecting Specimens,Herbaria, and Botanists for Maximum Datasharing and Synthesis in Record Time.
Traditional floras and checklists, particularly those for large and biodiverse regions, can take decades to produce. Massive field-collection efforts result in thousands of specimens, each with associated data, and recently, digital images. The sharing of many sets of duplicate gifts or loans for determination with experts worldwide is expensive and time-consuming, yet has been requisite for receiving confirmed identifications that contribute to the validity of the final floristic publication. Virtual, digital floras (botanical/biodiversity information systems) allow rapid data-entry, label production, and remote confirmation of species identity, as well as facilitating comparison and synthesis. The result is simplified data-sharing, faster and better-shared identifications, and the possibility of arriving at a realistic species list (and even descriptions and "species pages") in record time.
While rapid floras provide a better chance to quantify and communicate the value of biodiversity in our lifetime and enable conservation efforts to be directed to places that most need it, digital botanical information systems should also be recognized as a means to improve natural history collections and all manner of systematic and other synthetic studies that use these specimens. The sharing of new expert annotations with other institutions holding duplicate specimens is perhaps the biggest challenge we currently face-the identity of the organism is the basis for all that follows.
The Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas will be presented as one example of the various "rapid flora" efforts underway around the world, and the Atrium Biodiversity Information System will be demonstrated as a tool facilitating a rapid flora (among
other things) in southeastern Peru. Specifically, the issues of facilitating and sharing specimen annotations will be discussed, and it is hoped workshop participants will contribute to a discussion on "best practices" for virtual annotations.
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1 - Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT), 400 E. 4th St., Fort Worth, TX, 76102, USA
Presentation Type: Workshop
Location: MacInnes S/Gage
Date: Sunday, July 27th, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM