From Floras to Interactive Keys

December 7, 2006 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Agenda | Leave a comment

Author: Patricia Malcolm

Floras offer a means for the identification and correct naming of plants for a particular region. Kew’s tradition for writing Floras has lead to the production of 6 main African Floras, which together with other monographic work are gradually being digitised and will form part of the online e-floras resource. Having these works in digital form not only enables access to the Floras for users around the world through the internet, but also opens opportunities to improve and reuse this information. In this talk I will cover 3 ways in which the information in Floras and monographs can be used to build interactive identification systems. I will first describe the methodology used for the digitisation of Kew’s legacy works and how this information is now part of an online database for identification and nomenclatural queries (Flora Zambesiaca online). I will then demonstrate how Lucid Phoenix can be used to publish dichotomous keys online, using Phyllanthus key from Flora Zambesiaca as an example. And finally, I will demonstrate how to transfer character base information from a monograph (“Then genus Croton in Madagascar and the Comoro Is.” by A. Radcliffe-Smith – unpublished) into a DELTA/INTKEY system. With this key the user can arrive to a group of less than 10 taxa by using only 5 characters, out of a total of ~150 species of Croton.
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