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Abstract Detail

Conference Wide

Gries, Corinna [1], Gilbert, Edward [2], Landrum, Leslie [1], Nash , Thomas  [3].

Symbiota: a software package for virtual floras.

The workshop will emphasize exercises to explore the full functionality of Symbiota, a software package developed to aid regional natural history collections integrate and publish their specimen data in an online virtual flora (or fauna) format. First we will cover the basic user interface which allows one to search for specimens by various parameters, and generate distribution maps and checklists. We will then demonstrate how species checklists generated from specimen data can be integrated with morphological character data to create dynamically interactive identification tools for any given area. Species identification is aided by extensive information in species profile pages which are illustrated with images from a separate database. In this exercise, educators may generate custom checklists and keys for areas as large as an extensive field trip or as small as a school yard and establish this as a project within Symbiota for their students. Bring your computer for the exercise or follow along the presentation. We will also walk collection curators through data maintenance within Symbiota. This will involve data loading, tuning data presentation, discussion of the taxonomic thesaurus and managing the character and character state information for dynamic keys. If there is interest, we will briefly discuss setting up a Symbiota node for interested collections or consortia without getting into the technical detail. More information on Symbiota may be found at The Symbiota package is currently used by three nodes, SEINet with vascular plant records from the Southwestern US taken from 20 herbaria (, the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria with records from 8 herbaria ( and the Cooperative Taxonomic Resource for American Myrtaceae with records from 4 herbaria (

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 874501, Tempe, Arizona, 85287-4501, USA
2 - Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, B0x 874501, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4501, USA
3 - Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 874601, Tempe, Arizona, 85287, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Activities:Workshops
Session: WS02
Location: 553B/Convention Center
Date: Sunday, August 1st, 2010
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: WS02001
Abstract ID:1042

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