Texas Endemics - Base Data

WWW-based mapping systems developed by the Texas A&M Bioinformatics Working Group for the Arkansas Flora allowed visualization features that were not fully expressed due to a partial base data set, i.e., Arkansas diveristy mapping for higher-level taxa usually depicts level of plant collection activity for a given county, as opposed to actual biodiversity across the state. This result initiated a search for county-level plant distribution data that featured full distributions for each taxon. This type of dataset was needed as a 'test bed' foundation for further development of the 'diversity mapping' feature.

Initial work with Arkansas data also demonstrated a need to move beyond a stable 'foundation' data set toward dynamic data development via on-line interaction among specialists at remote sites.

Contact with Dr. David Diamond of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department produced a draft manuscript under development by TPWD Botanists, especially Mr. Bill Carr. Both individuals are - unfortunately - no longer employed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. However, the 'Texas Endemics' system under development here uses the TPWD working document as a foundation that can be further developed by vouchered county records as well as on-line interactions among taxonomic specialists and herbarium data providers. All input activities of this system are open and accessible, as part of a tracked data stream, to all with an interest in Texas biodiveristy.

The TPWD document included an introduction, a listing of taxa no longer considered to be endemic, and a bibliography. Its tabular listing of Texas endemic taxa was converted to form a base data set that will evolve via on-line annotations available through this system.

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