Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Photographs, Species accounts and Interface.


32 species have had their photographs added or contributed to. We continually ask for photographs, particularly from critical groups.

Species accounts
 21 species have had their descriptions and data added to the database.

User Interface

We are still working on the user interface and a final search page allowing users to type in the item for which they wish information should be ready soon.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Data Updates and Interface Revamp

New Species and Updates. 

14 species have had descriptions and ecological characteristics added and 10 have had the descriptions and characteristics updates.

User Interface

There will be few updates for the next couple of months as we will be concentrating on improving the user interface.  We hope to incorporate user suggestions, and you have a little while to contact us with any suggestions.  We will be concentrating on making the whole database searchable, improving the output so that all the information is retrieved, and making bringing the interface into the 21st century.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Happy New Year and Current Activities

Happy New year to all our users. Slightly belated but HF has just had an ankle replaced and is only now getting back to a semblance of regular activity. I avoided the use of the word normal.

In the mean time  some 25 plants have had their descriptions added and their data entered into the  characteristics table together with another 10 descriptions, and 2 updates. Three papers containing over 1500  data items  have been incorporated as well, and we have programmed links to more external databases from the species pages.

As HF improves we are looking towards the revamp of the interface, which will be a response to the metrics collected on the database, as well as individual comments from users, and needs identified by the team.  Then  we would like to incorporate new methods of data collection involving the ecological  community, and ultimately we hope to plan a secure future for the database once the current team retire. 

Monday, 30 November 2015

Data Updates and Other Changes

The latest set of updates includes  4 species with characteristics added, approximately 80 species with new data on stomatal counts,  and approximately 1000  plants  with pollen diameters added. We have also been working on  the ordering of the specific  name for hybrids: we now place the hybrid name first, and  the parental names following.  We plan to combine these with a hybrid table from the original database  which will link directly to the parental names and characteristics.

We will be planning an updated user interface over the winter, and if anyone has concrete proposals or suggestions, please email Henry Ford or manager@ecoflora.co.uk

Thanks to those who have already contributed.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Relative Growth rates and Biological Floras

Relative Growth Rates: 

Two new characteristics have been added for 129 plants, RGRmax, and RGR which will be made searchable  in the new year.

Biological Flora Accounts:

With the recent addition of access to CABI fact sheets and the Database of Insects and their food plants, it made  great sense to add links to the autecological accounts of species in the Biological Flora of the British Isles series published in the Journal of Ecology. The access to these varies, either from Wiley or from JSTOR, and  may depend on your personal permissions.  The extant accounts have been linked to the species pages and  you can now go to these directly.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Drought, Waterlogging and Shade tolerance, and access to the BRC Database of Insect and their Food Plants

New data 
New data from Niinemets and Valadares, 2006, on drought, waterlogging and shade tolerance  for some 500 woody shrubs and trees has been added. These indices  come with a new help page ( from the help menu) and at the moment are not searchable but appear as new characteristics in the ecological characteristics list for each species.

Searchable Characteristics
It has not gone unnoticed that several new characteristics have been added to the characteristics list over past couple of  years,  but we have not programmed the interface to include relevant search facilities.  This will be remedied over this winter  as we hope to revamp the user interface in general. Until then the data will appear under the lists of characteristics for particular species.

BRC Database of Insect and their Food Plants
We now have direct access to this database from the menu for each species if the BRC hold data, which they do  for over 1600 plants in our database. This means that as well as the NHM corrected data that we hold (increasingly historic data)  a maintained list of  insects that use each species is  now available directly from the site.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Summer News

Data Corrections

 Over the spring and summer two major tasks have been undertaken by  Clive Massey:  the diacriticals   have been  corrected in the database, and the species names have been returned to an initial capital letter. Both tasks are much simpler in their description than their completion.

During the course of this work we found satisfyingly few data errors of the type that we can identify  ( e.g. misplaced elements etc. ), as opposed to  incorrect entries of data which can only be identified by checking.


We now have over 500 species with photographs, and many of these have had their  photographs improved. Anyone who has photographs that they would like to put on the database, please contact me.

New Species.

8 species have had their data added to the database, and 13 have had additional data entered.  Autumn should see a return to the data additions and updates. 

Future Developments.

 Later on this year we will undertake a major redevelopment of the user interface, allowing more efficient mining of the   database, and access to other databases of a similar nature from species searches.  Again if there are specific features that anyone would like to see incorporated, do let us know.