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item Farr, David

Submitted to: Proceedings of Workshop toward an Integrated Biodiversity Information Network
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/2/2003
Publication Date: 10/22/2003
Citation: Farr, D.F. 2003. FUNGAL DATA FOR ALL - ONLINE DATABASES. Proceedings of Workshop toward an Integrated Biodiversity Information Network.

Interpretive Summary: NONE

Technical Abstract: The Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory (United States Department of. Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service) has developed and maintains a number of databases used by the scientific community including mycologists, plant pathologists and regulatory agencies. These databases provide access to about 700,000 specimens in the United States National Fungus Collections, fungus-host distribution records derived from 30,000 literature references, and links to literature with information on the taxonomy of fungi. The laboratory also provides online interactive keys and images of selected fungal groups. I will review the key elements of these databases and how they were developed. Based on our experiences I will discuss some of the factors that are important in establishing and maintaining databases used in biodiversity studies. With the growth of mycological databases available over the web it is imperative that we begin to discuss how to collaborate in order to build data resources that will improve our ability to solve biodiversity questions. We need to build on our individual efforts and not redo what has already been done. In addition to develop databases about fungi, mycologists also need access to information about the hosts that harbor the fungi. It is important that we provide input to those developing bioinformatics databases of vascular plants. Numerous examples of plant-associated fungal data available online will be presented.