Hosted Databases /

UCR Herbarium Inventory


Web-interactive Database Interfaces

Search-Form-based DB Interfaces

Arboles Tropicales Comunes del Area Maya

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UCR Herbarium

A Botany Ph.D. student

Data Entry


Welcome to the Databases
hosted by the UCR Herbarium

The UCR Herbarium hosts a number of databases, including its own herbarium specimens inventory as well as those of two other UCR's Center for Integrative Biological Collections members. These databases are accessible through one or two of three different interfaces. The Web-interactive Interface emulates a common database program computer interface through your browser and is compatible with only the later versions of some browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Apple Safari). The Search-Form-based (DB) Interface provides the user with an initial web form giving the user various data fields to enter search terms and a submit button to initiate the database search. The result is various webpages listing subsets of the found data records. This interface is less troubled by the browser you are using, though even it may display problems with ancient ones. The third interface provides the user with interaction through a series of choice lists of data values leading to different aspects of the data on particular plant species. The user needs to double-click a value to reach the next display of data. This interface is used only for the Arboles Tropicales Comunes del Area Maya (Common Tropical Trees of the Mayan Region). Its browser compatibility is comparable to the second interface. Information about a particular interface and links leading to a particular database or a list of databases are available using the links on the upper left of this text.

UCR Herbarium Inventory Database

The UCR Herbarium Inventory is completely databased. Every specimen in the stacks is represented by a record in the UCR database, except for a few errors. Occasionally we come across specimens that have inadvertently been skipped over in the data entry process. We promptly correct every error we come across as well as those reported to us by others. Every new specimen record entered must have longitude-latitude data. If the collector does not supply that data, we look up the given location on a paper or electronic map and add the coordinates ourselves. Currently about 95% of our California specimens have lat/longs.

The versions of the UCR Herbarium Inventory publicly available over the Internet omit records confidential because of various sensitivity issues, mostly having to do with current research or contracts with temporary confidentiality requirements. The datasets available on the web are not quite current (copies are used rather than the active system), but they are updated on a regular basis. The records are also available within the Consortium of California Herbaria database, along with the records from some 34 or so other herbaria.

Database History

The data entry work was supported by financing from the National Science Foundation, the UCR Center for Conservation Biology, and contributors to the herbarium "various donors" account. The people who actually did the work include Teresa Salvato, Brandon Mattrux, Trinity Ryan, Melissa Mattrux, Kyle Boyd, Loni Bachor, Chris Glover, Mitch Provance and others. Barbara Pitzer made the first entries in the earliest version of the system back in 1988 and was actively involved, a key person, in the whole process until she became ill and eventually passed away in Sept. 2002. Her interest and commitment kept the process moving during times when no outside funding was available. Andrew Sanders, the curator, watched over the whole process and did some entry as well. The data structure was developed by Ed Plummer and Andrew Sanders with interaction with the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden herbarium (RSA), which had adopted the UCR database structure for a long time.

Note on names

Records are entered under the names under which the specimens are filed at UCR. In some cases, this does not reflect the useage in the most recent regional floras. These divergences can be either the result of our not having updated a particular genus (rare) or of our consciously not using some recently used name (common). For example, we do not use either the names Chamaesyce or Vulpia because it is the curator's opinion that use of these genera would leave Euphorbia and Festuca as paraphyletic groups. In general, we probably tend to err on the side of broader circumscription of genera and narrower delimitation of species. Our families are mostly traditional and rather broad. The "lilioid" monocots are all treated in a very broad Liliaceae, largely out of exasperation with the instability of the classification of these plants. Once things settle down, we'll adopt some more modern system. We always use the family names with the "-aceae" ending and the vascular family names are abbreviated using the system of acronyms proposed by Robert W. Kiger and James L. Reveal in collaboration with the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation. We have tried to keep the nomenclature straight so that at least each species is filed under only one name, but in some cases (especially across state/published flora boundaries) a species may be filed under synonyms in different genera. You would do well to check under major recently used names when searching the name fields.


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