Floral info just a click away

IISc scientists to post database on flower species on website soon

Floral info just a click away

The Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) at the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc) has created a database of over 4,000 flowering plant species.

Its digitised version will soon be posted on a website for the benefit of public and students to learn floral diversity of the State. A team of scientists headed by Dr A Sankara Rao at the CES, has prepared the database which, they claim, is first of its kind in the State.

The team worked relentlessly for over seven years and prepared the database out of specimens collected by Father Dr Cecil J Saldhana, a noted botanist. Fr Saldhana gave his collection of over 14,000 specimens of 4,000 species from various parts of the State to the CES.

Specimens

Herbarium titled JCB and all the specimens were collected mostly between 1978 and 1996 from evergreen forests, western ghats, semi-ever green patches, deciduous (both moist and dry), scrub and thorn forests, and plains.

“We created a database using the existing collection. We got the photos of plants, flowers, fruits, leaves and its habitat to upload them on the website. It helps in identifying species of plants and flowers by visiting the website from anywhere and provides information on the specimens,” Dr Rao told Deccan Herald.

It provides details such as species name, author citation, sub-species, variety, family, subfamily, collection number, locations, date of collection, maps and the collector’s name. The scanned image of the collection (made by Fr Saldhana) is also a part of the database along with the status of the plant now.

“The status include whether the plant is common, rare, endangered, critically endangered as per the list of International Union of Conservation Network (IUCN),” he said.

Access

Dr Rao said that access to information on botanical collections has been made easier than ever before through digitisation, database development and the Internet.

“This is the only means by which the large quantities of data concerning plants of Karnataka can be made readily available. It will benefit the scientific community and the public at large,” he added.

An image gallery is provided to ensure that anyone can learn about the floral diversity, by browsing images. Each image is hyperlinked to the corresponding species webpage. Alphabetically sorted species and family lists allow users to browse by species name and family, respectively.

With the database compilation and digitisation almost complete, the scientists will be presenting the same at the United Nations biodiversity meet, which will begin on Monday in Hyderabad.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry