LICHCOL - database of the lichen herbarium at B
Origin and content. Since 1986 label production for the lichen herbarium is
computerized using database programs. The corresponding electronic files have been stored,
and brought together in a database called LICHCOL. This has been augmented with data from
earlier collections, depending on the availability of suitable notes for easy data intake
and depending on current research interests. In addition, data files from acquired
collections have been included, when such files were available.
Currently LICHCOL contains data sets for about 60,000 lichen specimens available in B, and comprises about 4000 species from 89 countries. These figures mean that about 25% of the lichen herbarium is covered. Countries particularly well represented include Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Papua New Guinea, Venezuela.
Functions. LICHCOL is mainly used to produce labels and to store and retrieve label information, e.g. for duplicate labels, species lists. Moreover improved determinations are collected for ongoing floristic studies. The available data constitute a provisional survey of the lichen flora of certain areas, more representative than any published information, e.g, for Colombia, Costa Rica, the Guianas, New Guinea. Furthermore the database allows to keep track of changes of identification in published records.
Properties and peculiarities. In order to facilitate import of data sets, LICHCOL has a flat structure. Apart from the usual information of herbarium labels, it stores information on previous identifications, which serves the retrieval of redetermined specimens, and on accessory species present in the specimen, like lichenicolous fungi. Due to the way LICHCOL is compiled, it is a "rough" collection of information. The nomenclature is not uniform and the country attribution may not reflect the current political situation. Some determinations are provisional and incomplete or may turn out to be erroneous. The number of fields in the database is limited, and there is, e.g., no separate field for elevation. Other fields are inconsistently filled, because they were added at a later stage, e.g the fields for the coordinates.
Access. LICHCOL is accessible on-line. Since the web access is still under construction, those interested in additional queries not possible on the website are welcome to contact the curator. The website is recommended to localize herbarium specimens of specified taxa, localities, collecting year, and to copy label information for specimen lists.
[Text: H. Sipman]