Gentry Data Available on Web

Alan tucker at CISSUS.MOBOT.ORG
Wed Mar 5 11:37:37 CST 1997

Transect Data of Alwyn H. Gentry available on World Wide Web

The life of Alwyn H. Gentry ended tragically in an airplane crash on
August 3, 1993.  Anyone familiar with Gentry knows that his work was
ambitious.  The Missouri Botanical Garden is committed to bringing many of
Gentry's projects to some logical conclusion.  Oliver Phillips, Nancy
Hediger, and Jim Miller have worked to standardize the format of data
presentation for Gentry's transect data, which are now available on the
World Wide Web at

A volume entitled "Global Patterns of Plant Diversity: Alwyn H.
Gentry's Forest Transect Data Set" is currently in preparation
by Oliver Phillips and Jim Miller for publication in the series
Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical
Garden."  The volume will summarize the data for each site and
also includes an introduction to Gentry's methodology, the
history of its development, and the overall significance of his
transect studies.

During his career at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Gentry and his
colleagues collected data from 226 tenth-hectare transects on six
continents.  The data include identification and stem diameters of all
plants with a diameter at breast height (dbh) greater than 2.5 cm.  This
unparalleled data set allows comparison of alpha diversity, forest
structure, and taxonomic composition from one site to another throughout
the world.

The complete raw data from these 226 transect sites are now avail-
able on the World Wide Web at

The data can be browsed on a site-by-site basis or downloaded
in several ways.  The Garden encourages the use of these data by
making them freely available subject to the conditions outlined
in the introductory material.

A questionnaire associated with the data set will help monitor
use of the data and assist in future revisions of the material
that will increase ease of access and use.

Gentry's work on the systematics of Bignoniaceae is being
completed by William G. D'Arcy and Warren D. Hauk.

Alan V. Tucker
Research Division
Missouri Botanical Garden

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