CDEFD Project

Walter Berendsohn wgb at FUB46.ZEDAT.FU-BERLIN.DE
Thu Feb 17 15:20:04 CST 1994

As I was asked repeatedly to provide information about the
CDEDF - Project on the network, I decided to post this somewhat
lengthy letter to Taxacom and IOPI. Please feel free to contact
me if you want more detail or if you would like to keep in

European Commission DG 12 Biotechnology Programme
Concerted Research Action

Start date: 01.08.1993          Duration: 30 months

The development of project-independent structures to be used in
the design of floristic database systems in Europe, with
special consideration given to the integration 'novel
descriptors'. Production of an annotated relational data
research model (data structure and entity/relation model).

Floristic information is nomenclatural information linked with
data gathered during the collection of herbarium specimens,
such as collection site, date, abundance etc. Nomenclatural
data provide access to all information available for the
specific taxon. Floristic information links this with geo-
graphical, ecological and, potentially, economic data. Thus, an
ably designed floristic database has a variety of applications
and potential uses apart from pure Flora writing: access to
genetic resources by circumscribing the area where a certain
plant is likely to be found, definition of areas with high
endemism to identify conservation priorities, as well as
information on potential collection sites. Local uses, often
recorded by collectors, are valuable indicators of a possible
economic potential of a plant (e.g. pharmaceutical potential).
Geographic areas which are underrepresented in collections can
be defined for priority research. The inclusion of novel
descriptors (such as from biochemical and cytological
information) in the basic data structure will enhance col-
lection of such data from new research.
The project consists of a series of meetings to discuss and
expand an existing detailed data model (Berendsohn, Berlin) and
to compile and discuss interface specifications, taking into
consideration the experience and needs of the participating
scientists. Specialists are invited to the meetings to speak
about specific data areas and to participate in the discussion.
As a novel aproach for systematic databases, a CASE (computer
aided software engineering) programme is used to integrate the
findings and to immediately analyse and document the result of
meetings. Thus, the result of the project will not only consist
of a written document, but of a CASE database which can serve
directly as starting point for follow-up research and system
development. The use of CASE (Computer Aided Software
Engineering) techniques throughout the project represents a
novel approach in the development of floristic database
systems.  The concerted action project can be considered as the
first phase in a project leading to program prototypes and a
model database system for European floristic data.

Core project participants:
University of Triest (Nimis)
University of Patras (Phitos / Anagnostopoulos)
University of Sevilla (Valdes)
Botanical Garden and Museum Berlin-Dahlem (Berendsohn, Project

Walter Berendsohn
wgb at             Fax: +49 30 830 06 186
Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Koenigin-Luise-Strasse 6-8, 14191 Berlin, Germany

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