Herbarium, Department of Biology, Northeast Louisiana State University
The Texas A&M University Bioinformatics Working Group

The grass family, or Poaceae, is one of the largest and most diverse elements of the Louisiana Flora. This informatics system is designed to allow the user to visualize Louisiana grass diversity via Parish-level distribution mapping. This system contains distribution information for all grass taxa known to occur in Louisiana. Using this database, the system creates 'on-the-fly' distribution maps for each 'base' taxon (species and infraspecific elements) and these individual maps can be examined by taking the 'checklist' option below. All 'base' taxa listed here are linked to their corresponding distribution maps and these can be examined by simply selecting an epithet. Distribution maps denote presence in the Parish (green), absence (white), and 'uncertain' (red). Selection of checklist Genus names will produce a 'diversity map' that represents an 'overlay' of all distribution maps of subgeneric taxa. Common occurances, by Parish, are reflected by graded color coding.

Selection of the 'diversity map' option produces a color-coded map that reflects, using different shades of green, the total number of all grass taxa per Parish. The initial map (left) depicts an overview summation of all distribution maps for all grass taxa of the state. While the data are incomplete and, to some extent, bias by uneven documentation (herbarium specimens) for all Parishes, the pattern expressed by this map reflects higher diversity in upland areas beyond the Mississippi floodplain and delta. This, and all diversity maps generated by the system, is a 'live' map in that selection of a given Parish will produce a checklist of grasses known to occur in that Parish. This 'Parish Flora' checklist, generated 'on-the-fly', also includes mapping links for selection of either distribution or diversity maps.

Selection Options: Checklist Diversity Map

This prototype system is under development as a collaborative project involving faculty, students, and staff associated with the Biology Department Herbarium at Northeast Louisiana State Univeristy (NLU) and the Texas A&M University Bioinformatics Working Group. Data files provided by NLU are derived from on-going work with the Louisiana flora (see K. N. Gandhi and R. Dale Thomas. 1989. Asteraceae of Louisiana. SIDA, Botanical Miscellany 4. 202 pp.). Further development of this system and the Louisiana database should include updates for the Poaceae and inclusion of additional vascular plant families.

© 1996. These pages and linked content are being developed, with support from the Texas A&M Institute for Scientific Computation the Texas A&M Center for the Study of Digital Libraries, and funding (ARP) from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the personal use of systematic botany students and all with an interest in the Louisiana flora. They are not designed for commercial use or publication.
Last updated: 21 November 1996