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Economic Botany Subgroup. Daphne Christopher, Convenor Institute of Economic Botany The New York Botanical Garden. History. Many different and sometimes ambiguous terms employed to define how people use plants

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Economic Botany Subgroup


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economic botany subgroup

Economic Botany Subgroup

Daphne Christopher, Convenor

Institute of Economic Botany

The New York Botanical Garden

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

history
History
  • Many different and sometimes ambiguous terms employed to define how people use plants
  • Standardization of the terms for describing the economic, social, and cultural value of plants was needed to aid information collection and data exchange and analysis of plants and their uses

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

hot topic

Hot topic

Perhaps a person is gathering information on a plant which is used to treat fevers. The plant could be recorded as being fever-reducing, an antipyretic, or a febrifuge, etc.

In cases such as this, having a standard helps in keeping databases consistent.

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

that orange book

That Orange Book

Economic Botany Data Collections Standard (EBDCS)

Published in 1995 by Frances Cook, the EBDCS was the culmination of several years of discussions at TDWG

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

1999 survey of users
1999 Survey of Users
  • Provided a list of users and potential users
  • Revealed need for a more user-friendly layout
  • Suggested that information be provided for the interpretation of terminology and the implementation of the Standard in databases
  • Led to the publication of a web version of the EBDCS http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/tdwguses/index.htm

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

who s using it
Who’s using it?
  • The New York Botanical Garden
  • Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Edinburgh
  • Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
  • Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete
  • CONABIO
  • Others

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

structure of the standard
Structure of the Standard
  • Hierarchical structure
  • Three main levels from Level 1, the most inclusive, to Level 3, the most exclusive
  • Variations and independent descriptor categories not consistent within each level
  • A bit confusing to the uninitiated

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

progress
Progress
  • Renewed activity of the Economic Botany Subgroup begins in early 2001
  • Several participants meet during Society for Economic Botany meetings in May 2001
  • Communications continue and more specific requests for alterations are compiled and discussed during Subgroup meeting in June 2002

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

what can be done
What can be done?
  • Can the Standard work for everyone?
  • Need for modification depending on nature of project and the information being collected
  • Consideration of changes to be included in the updated Standard

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

proposed changes to ebdcs
Proposed Changes to EBDCS
  • Reorganization
  • Deletions Duplications Confusing placements
  • Additions Synonymy Lists New Headings Glossary & Index

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002

conclusions
Conclusions
  • The EBDCS is a good basis upon which to continue work on the standardization of plant use terms
  • Revisions will be web-based to allow easy access to users throughout the world
  • Addition of a glossary and index will provide a new comprehensive tool for researchers
  • Future work- an interactive key to use terms

Taxonomic Databases Working Group Annual Meeting 2002