Thiers, Barbara bthiers at nybg.org
Fri May 14 12:21:03 CDT 2010

The retroactive cataloguing of all specimens of vascular plants housed in the herbarium of The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) that were collected in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Tocantins, Goías, Maranhão, Piauí, and Ceará  and in the Distrito Federal has been completed, thanks to funding from NSF.  


This "Catalogue of Vascular Plant Species of Central and Northeastern Brazil" contains 97,839 specimen records and 17,856 images representing 183 families of spermatophytes and 97 genera of pteridophytes. 


As a result of this project, data from specimens collected during the Planalto Exploration Program, based at NYBG and the University of Brasília (UB) and funded by National Science Foundation grants in the 60s and 70s, are now available electronically.


The Catalogue records are available to the public through The New York Botanical Garden's Virtual Herbarium website ( <http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/hcol/planalto/index.asp> http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/hcol/planalto/index.asp).  


*       The records can be searched by any of several fields-most importantly: name of the plant, name of the identifier, name and collection number of the collector, date of collection, location at which the specimen was collected, and the presence of an associated image.  

*       Results of a search can be viewed not only as a list of specimens or a distribution map but also as a contact sheet of images associated with the records.  

*       Specimen information is also available in the form of checklists of families, genera, and species (generated directly from the current specimen database).

*       77% of the records contain geocoordinates and can be viewed on  maps.  16% of these are specimens with the geocoordinates given on the original labels.  28% were georeferenced to the municipio level by the software tools of the Brazilian Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental.  33% are the ca. 42,000 specimens collected by NYBG staff members H. S. Irwin and W. R. Anderson during the NYBG/University of Brasília Planalto Exploration Program that were retroactively georeferenced by NYBG staff.   

*       Maps of the collection events of each of the 11 Planalto expeditions (created with Google's Spreadsheet Mapper) can be reached by links in the expedition list on the website (http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/hcol/planalto/expeditions.asp).  Once a map is reached, clicking on a collection event icon opens a balloon that provides date, locality, collectors' names, collection numbers, and a link to search for Catalogue records of specimens collected during that event. 


In addition, the Catalogue presents historical information about the Planalto Exploration Program:

*       Reminiscences from the program leaders, Howard S. Irwin and William R. Anderson.

*       Letters written by Mrs. Howard Irwin (Marian) to her mother in which she described life in the newly built Distrito Federal and expedition logistics (1965-1966).

*       An annotated list of expedition participants (1965-1975).

*       A list of trips arranged by date, each entry followed by the range of collection numbers, states visited, participants' names as they appear on labels, and a link to a map of the collection localities. 

*       Photographs from the Planalto expeditions from Dorothy Irwin (1966 and 1971), William R. Anderson (1972-1982), and Steven R. Hill (1973).

*       Irwin's final report to NSF (1971), which provides a good overview of the project.


Results of searches of the Catalogue on the NYBG website can be downloaded.  Large subsets of the data too cumbersome to be downloaded efficiently from the website can be provided by NYBG staff via ftp or CD.  Although geocoordinates and localities below municipio are not available online for endangered species, such information is provided upon request to those with valid scientific needs.  


In addition to the Garden's website, all records in the Catalogue are available to the public also through the Brazilian SpeciesLink website provided by the Centro de Referência em Informação Ambiental (http://splink.cria.org.br/) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility' integrated data portal (http://www.gbif.net/welcome.htm).   


This Catalogue expands the scope and utility of the Species of Eastern Brazil Catalogue also on the Garden's web site.  The ultimate goal is a Catalogue of all Brazilian specimens held at the Garden's herbarium.  The third and last part-a catalogue of specimens from the Amazonian states is underway.


Creation of this catalogue was funded in part by the National Science Foundation (Jacquelyn Kallunki, P.I., and Emily Ashley, Co-P.I.).


Posted for Jaquelyn Kallunki by

Dr. Barbara M. Thiers

Director, William and Lynda Steere  Herbarium

Editor, Index Herbariorum

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd.

Bronx, NY 10458-5126

tel: 718-817-8622

fax: 718-817-8809

email:  bthiers at nybg.org

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 Index Herbariorum Registration Form for download:

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