The New York Botanical Garden|
Universidade Federal do Acre
Floristics and Economic Botany of Acre, Brazil
Florística e Botânica Econômica do Acre, Brasil
The preliminary checklist presented here is based
on 8365 collections identified to species. At this point in our floristic survey
of the 153.149 km2 that Acre comprises, we have registered 3273 taxa (including
infraspecific taxa); we cannot yet hazard a guess as to the richness of the
total flora. Without a doubt, the curve expressing number of species vs. number
of collections is still concave.
The checklist is searchable. It is a precursor to a searchable database that
will be made available on the Web once gaps in the geographic coordinates have
been eliminated. It has been examined for redundancies and orthographic variants
(of both species and authors). A large number of taxonomic and nomenclatural
synonyms have been detected via correspondence with specialists, herbarium work,
taxonomic literature, and other databases and checklists. These synonyms have
been dealt with, but undoubtedly quite a few remain. Reports are being sent
to a number of taxonomic specialists that include not only a checklist for their
groups but also basic information on all the collections for each species, including
collector, collector numbers, and localities. The specialists are being asked
to proof the checklist. We have sent reports to twelve specialists who work
on speciose and frequently collected plant families; together, they can account
for 40% of the collections made in the state. Readers are also asked to send
us corrections and comments.
The core of the Acre project - and the source of the checklist -- is the specimen-based
database, which contains the available information on all botanical collections
from the state since Ernst Ule's pioneering expedition in 1901. Botanical exploration
took place sporadically between 1901-1989, and the data are widely scattered
and in some cases only partially accessible. Since the NYBG/UFAC collaboration
began in 1990, the floristic survey has been more centralized and more systematically
planned. The database now contains some 14,000 complete (for field data) records
and includes the great majority of historical collections. Updates are communicated
electronically each semester to UFAC.
During this past year, we have invested our efforts most heavily in organizing
and completing the flora database, in order to begin to apply our results to
the state zoning project now under way and to prepare this preliminary flora
checklist for posting on the Internet. We have been able to enter more than
one thousand determinations to species into the data-base in the past twelve
months. This does not include several hundred determinations of sterile as well
as fertile inventory vouchers that have not been entered. Still, one of the
motivations for a proposal now pending with NSF is the urgent need to eliminate
much of the remaining identification backlog by providing taxonomic specialists
with the specimens, background information, field opportunities, time, and obligation
to resolve taxonomic problems in their groups and put names on the plants.
Other progress on the database during the past twelve months included the following:
- We eliminated a large number of redundant records, as well as records from
localities discovered to lie outside of Acre in Amazonas state, Bolivia, or
- We entered several hundred new records. Some of these were data unearthed
for collections made by Ule in 1901 or 1910 and by Kuhlmann in 1923, while
others were collections that had been backlogged for want of field books.
- We standardized much of the vegetation-cover terminology.
- We reduced the number of collections lacking municipality from several thousand
to fewer than one hundred, and this will be reduced to near zero by the end
- We obtained the geographic coordinates for more than one thousand records,
but there is still a sizeable backlog. Coordinates cannot be determined for
many of the older collections with inconclusive locality data. The remaining
localities cannot be found on standard maps. To eliminate these, we have secured
a visiting fellowship through the SUNY-Albany Brazil Training Program for
an UFAC master's student who will come to NYBG in early 2000 bringing numerous
GPS readings and copies of more obscure maps of seringais (rubber-tapper
holdings) and of other maps only available through the federal colonization
and environmental agencies in Acre. The final product of her visit will be
a gazetteer of Acre botanical collecting localities.
- With the help of the IAN herbarium staff in Bel?m, we located records for
some 400 collections made by woodsmen based there during the 1970s; the PI
will be visiting IAN at their invitation to record identifications and possibly
request loans of unidentified material.
We are interested in comments from users about the new interface and any additional features that would be helpful.
Please send these comments to: