As published in May 2004 the system contains information about the palms of Ecuador resulting from along-term research effort at the Department of Systematic Botany, Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Aarhus. Data include complete taxonomic and nomenclatural information, morphology, distribution, uses and common names of the Ecuadorian palm species together with a large number of images taken in the field. The system also files information about herbarium specimens and literature references pertaining to Ecuadorian palms. In the next phase we aim at expanding data coverage to include the palms of Thailand and we are also investigating possibilities through international collaboration to expand coverage to encompass other areas as well. We will also develop facilities for down-load of complete taxonomic reports as well as primary data in spreadsheet format, starting with specimen records.
All information about species presented in palm base is generated from a relational database. The core of that database is a file containing all scientific names. Five other central data files hold information about uses, common names, herbarium specimens, and literature references and digital images respectively. In addition, a number of help files assist linking the information together in the right way. Information is generally accessed through the scientific names file, which through links to the remaining files provides access to a compilation of all information pertaining to given taxon.
One of the basic ideas of palm base has been to create an open system that will be able to handle information contributed by other researchers providing full credit for every piece of information entered. For information on how to make taxonomic research data available through palm base please contact Henrik Balslev or Finn Borchsenius, Department of Systematic Botany, Institute of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University (AAU).
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