Checklist - Vascular Plants of Texas

    This is a draft or prototype system functioning as a 'test bed' for various procedures, both botanical and computational, that facilitate digital expression of the vascular flora of Texas as a taxonomic checklist.  It will eventually function as a medium through which the user can access available information (images, specimen data, descriptions, keys, distribution maps), using either technical or vernacular names.  The system works by processing a 'checklist' data file to produce three products; family-level HTML pages with genera and species ordered alphabetically, query menus carrying links to these files (panel below), and a full text index that includes additional information.  The 'checklist' data file was originally formed by combining information contained in a 'Texas' output file from the Synthesis of the North American Flora with a similar file derived from A Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Texas.  This combined file was then processed to adjust higher level classification to follow Cronquist's system and other elements to produce a spreadsheet base file that carries over 16,000 rows of names (see summary), both 'accepted' and 'synonyms', and internal coding that should allow transitions between these two states.  As errors or adjustments are needed, the spreadsheet file can be edited (see edit tracking).  The new version is then processed to 'refresh' or update HTML pages and the full text index.  Future development of this view of the Texas flora, in terms of composition and nomenclature, will probably involve reference - during processing - to the combined Texas herbarium specimen database.  Texas herbaria contributing to this resource provide firm statements with regard to 'accepted' names in that names present in individual herbarium datasets represent names in use by curators of Texas collections.  Thus, reference to the combined specimen data set could allow a 'consensus' check in at least some of those cases where taxonomic opinion comes into play.  This checklist system could be dynamic, i.e., refreshed each time the herbarium specimen database is updated, and this would reflect curatorial decisions of Texas botanists.   More complex issues will be resolved via dialog among those contributing to the project.

    Current function:  A click on the DFT logo above, on this page, will return to a draft DFT base page.  Links on the "browse" elements of the selection menu (below) will produce family listings in rough taxonomic order (local system [mostly FNA] for non-flowering - can be adjusted, mostly Cronquist angiosperms, by subclass - can be adjusted),  and alphabetical sequence. Vernacular family names, also in alphabetical sequence, are also from a file that can be adjusted as needed.

    The "String Query" option will open a query box in the lower window.  The system will search the full text index for any word entered into this box by the user.  Returns from the index will come to this window.

    A click on the bluebonnet in the lower selection panel will bump the menu up a level whereas a click on a family name from this menu will produce a family listing page in this window.  A click on the DFT logo of the family listing page will produce this page and the 'Texas Vascular Plant Checklist' link will put the highest level selection menu in the lower panel.