Biological collections

Arthur Chapman arthur at ERIN.GOV.AU
Fri Mar 11 09:26:04 CST 1994

Further to Scott Miller's excellent summary of collections via gopher:

The Environmental Resources Information Network information data is also
available via the World Wide Web and at the end of this month when we
release our new version of the World Wide Web will include an interactive
forms interface that will produce a mapped distribution of individual
species directly from the database.

The ERIN data is data from all the Australian herbaria and museums and is an
excellent example of collaboration between a range of Commonwealth, State and
Territory Government institutions.  Included in the data are the collections
of all the Eucalyptus (some 600 plus species) from all the major Australian
herbaria along with many of the major Australian survey institutions.  The
collections in this genus alone number some 200,000 plus and would appear to be
by far the largest single collection of a single genus of any kind any where in
the world where the data is available across the Internet - and, incidentally,
covering a whole continent.

With the release of the new ERIN Web, the discriptions of all these species will
also be available across the network.

Recently ERIN, the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and all the major
Australian herbaria called for expressions of interest from researchers to
take advantage of a unique opportunity to work on this large integrated
database to develop imaginative research proposals using the data.  Projects
will range from general phytogeography, climate change predictions and modelling
quality assurance techniques, functional grouping, patterns of endemism,
landscape characterisation, testing of reserve selection methodologies,
vegetation characterisation through links with remote sensing, and plant/animal
interrelationships through links with databases on animals.

Further information may be obtained through the ERIN Newsletter: ERINYES 20:3
(available on the Gopher and WWW servers at ERIN -
and gopher or by contacting Dr Judy West, Australian National
Herbarium, Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO, PO Box 1600,
Canberra ACT 2601 (judyw at or myself at the address below.

In addition to the figures supplied by Scott - ERIN has now added some 8,000
vertebrate collections, mainly from the Cape York Peninsula area of Australia.

Arthur D. Chapman  [Scientific Coordinator, Biogeographic Information, ERIN]

Environmental Resources Information Network     internet: arthur at
GPO Box 636, Canberra,                             voice: +61-6-2500 376
ACT 2601, AUSTRALIA                                  fax: +61-6-2500 360

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