Flora Mesoamericana Web

Alan V. Tucker tucker at MOBOT.MOBOT.ORG
Mon Dec 5 09:30:37 CST 1994


                FLORA MESOAMERICANA ONLINE

We are pleased to announce that Flora Mesoamericana is now
available on the Internet via Gopher and the World Wide Web.
Visit these resources at

http://straylight.tamu.edu/MoBot/FM/fm_introduction.html
gopher://gopher2.nhm.ac.uk:70/11botany/.florames

The Flora Mesoamericana Project is an international,
collaborative project organized by the Missouri Botanical Garden,
the Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico (UNAM), and The
Natural History Museum (London). Numerous taxonomists are
contributing to the project. Flora Mesoamericana covers the area
of tropical Middle America from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in
southern Mexico to the Panama/Colombia border. Included are the
five southernmost states of Mexico (Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche,
Yucatan and Quitana Roo), and the countries of Belize, Guatemala,
Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Our intent is to make available electronically large datasets of
Mesoamerican floristic data which cannot be included in the
printed version of Flora Mesoamericana. These data sets will
include images, specimen data, and a dynamic checklist version of
Flora Mesoamericana.

Images: The printed version of Flora Mesoamericana does not
contain illustrations, but we plan to make them available for
the electronic version. At first the goal will be to illustrate
one species per genus utilizing previously published
black-and-white illustrations. Three examples are now available
on the Internet for the following species included in Vol. 6:
Aulonemia clarkiae, Echinodorus grandiflorus, Sagittaria
lancifolia (http://straylight.tamu.edu/MoBot/FM/fm_illustrations.html).

The ultimate goal is to illustrate all species. As resources
become available, we plan to add color images based on
slides, paintings, water colors, etc. As much as possible,
we plan to share images with other floristic and
monographic projects.  Ten examples of such data-sharing with
the Flora of North America project are now available through the
checklist for Vol. 1 (ferns)
(http://straylight.tamu.edu/MoBot/FM/fm_v1_cl.html).

Specimen Data: Because of limitations in space and financial
resources, the printed flora limits specimen citations to a
maximum of one per region and in an abbreviated format. Because
no such limitations apply to the electronic version, we will
include an unlimited number of citations.  An example of this
kind of data has been made available for two grass genera
treated in Vol. 6, Aulonemia and Olyra
(http://straylight.tamu.edu/MoBot/FM/fm_specimen.database.html).

For specimens in which the collector(s) recorded geographical
coordinates, their location can be seen on a Mesoamerican map by
clicking on the highlighted coordinates. Future plans call for
the implementation of links to a more elegant GIS so that total
distribution can be mapped. In the future we also plan to build a
gateway to the main specimen database so that data can be
accessed more directly and dynamically.

Checklist: To facilitate quick overviews of the Mesoamerican
flora, a dynamic, updatable checklist version of Flora
Mesoamericana will be placed on the Internet. An example of this
is available for 7 of the 32 pteridophyte families included in
Vol. 1 (http://straylight.tamu.edu/Mobot/FM/fm_v1_cl.html).
This information will be updated on a regular basis and will
be made available prior to publication of the printed volumes.
Furthermore, as new discoveries are made and published subsequent
to the appearance of a printed Flora Mesoamericana volume, the
new data will be incorporated into the checklist and linked to
the appropriate literature reference.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Gerrit Davidse (davidseg at mobot.mobot.org)
Mario Sousa S. (sousa at redvax1.dgsca.unam.mx)
Sandra Knapp (sk at nhm.ic.ac.uk)




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