International Symposium
"Data Retrieval Systems in Biodiversity Research"

St. Petersburg, Russia, May 22 - 28, 1999


Databases in Applied Aspects of Biodiversity


The data bank for abundance of ground vertebrates

The zoological monitoring laboratory of the Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology SB RAS has the data bank for abundance of ground vertebrates of the former USSR. It was organized in 1981. At the beginning, the data were kept in BCM-6 complex (Big Computing Machine) of the Computing Center of the Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Today, the data is in IBM-computers. The main goal of the bank is information and mathematical treatment for zoogeographical investigations and development of the animal monitoring principles and methods. The data bank uses for practical estimations of damage for animal populations too. The persons can use data bank, if they placed their unpublished materials in it. To 25.01.1999, the bank has information about 608 bird species (30435 variants of communities) and 60 micromammal species (5652 variants of communities). There is information on abundance of 10 amphibian species in 1270 and 7 reptilian species in 64 habitats. In addition, the bank has archives of the expert environmental estimations for observed habitats. Bank has the service and treatment programs. They are the programs to calculate of abundance, biomass, energy assimilation, indexes of diversity/evenness and multi-dimensional analysis of structure and organization of animal communities, etc. Workers of 30 scientific institutions are the bank users.

Institute of Animal Systematics and Ecology, RAS Siberian Branch, Frunze St., 11, Novosibirsk, 630091 Russia. Tel.: 7 (3832) 170-118. Fax: 7 (3832) 170-973. E-mail


The Use of Remote Methods for Study of Floodland Ecosystems

The results of the complex study of floodland ecosystems of the Pechora delta revealed a close connection between the values of the index, which was calculated with the use of the principle components method on the basis of spectral characteristics of the vegetation cover in 7 ranges - from the blue one to the deep infrared one (UCPC index), and the number of vascular plant species. Thus, the correlation quotient between the number of species of vascular plants and UCPC index values for the studied area was +0.96. Considering the integral character of the index values, indirect connection between these parameters is obvious. First of all, it is determined by the landscape, ecological and cenotic characteristics of the studied ecosystems. At the same time, there is a direct connection between UCPC indices values and the number of plant species, as the color of different parts of a plant is different for different species in certain spectral ranges. That is why spectral characteristics of a multi-species community (floodland willow and alder stands, herb grass meadows) have more shades in different spectrum parts; the picture of spectral values they express is much more complex and abundant than that of the coenoses with a small number of species (offshore sedge underbrush, non-complex bogs). The latter ones are characterized by the presence of rather narrow reflection stripes only in some of the spectral ranges. The obtained results give an opportunity of the use of the remote methods for preliminary evaluation of the species composition of vascular plants, at least, for floodland ecosystems of the Pechora delta.

Institute of Biology, Komi Science Centre, Ural Division of Russian Academy of Sciences, Syktyvkar, 167023, Russia,
Tel. 8212 216752, Fax 8212 420163, E-mail


Information System on Belarussian Lakes

(MS Acces 7.0 / Windows)

Information System "Limnoflora-Limnofauna of Belarus" was developed based on MS Access 7. The Information System includes limnological data on 553 lakes and catalogues of species of phytoplankton, zooplankton, zoobenthos, and fish known in Belarussian lakes. The database consists of six main blocks: general lake information (12 parameters); lake morphometry and morphology (23); water chemistry (17); number of species, density, and biomass of: phytoplankton (27); zooplankton (12), and benthic invertebrates (45 parameters). The data may be analyzed or individual lakes searched by region, river basin, trophic status, or selected levels of any parameter. Species catalogues for Belarussian lakes are now available for the first time and include 954 phytoplankton species, 311 zooplankton species, 411 zoobenthic species, and 40 fish species. The Information System is already being used by government institutions, in science and higher education. Its prospective use in applied and theoretical aquatic ecology is very promising, considering the aspects of biodiversity, exotic species invasion, etc. The Information System was developed at the Belarussian State University and at the Institute of Ecology National Academy of Science Republic of Belarus. Principal Investigator Dr. A. Y. Karatayev.

General Ecology Department - Belarussian State University, Minsk 220050 Belarus. Tel. 2772910, Fax 2775535, 2208821,


Computerized database on diversity of temperature adaptations in fish

(MS Access 7.0 / Windows)

Thermal conditions greatly effect the biological diversity of ichthyofauna resulting in deep rearrangements of species composition and genetic diversity of populations. The global climatic changes and the problem of thermal pollution of environment make the systematization of experimental and field data on temperature adaptation in fish and water invertebrates to be of a special importance for preservation and forecasting of biodiversity. The computerized database for input and analysis of unique materials obtained by the Thermal Ecology Group (Institute for Biology of Internal Waters, Russian Academy of Sciences), as well as the data contained in Russian and foreign literature issues (more than 3500 publications for the period from 1913 to 1999) was developed. The datasheets include the information on the thermal optima and limits for feeding, growth, reproduction and development, preferred and lethal temperatures of the freshwater and marine fishes. MS Access 7 was used to construct the database. Some additional algorithms for the methodical unification and statistic treatment are being developed to make possible an input and output of information according to main factors influencing the thermo-adaptive characteristics of fish (taxonomy, age and sex, season and time of the day, acclimation peculiarities, physiological and biochemical state of the organism). Support: RFBR, grant 98-04-48458.

Institute for Biology of Internal Waters, Russian Academy of Sciences, Borok, Yaroslavl Region 152742 Russia. Tel. (0852)253845, fax (0852)253845, E-mail


Use of data base to study the integration of photosynthesis and growth functions in barley during ontogenesis

(Quattro Pro 5.0, Excel 7.0, Paradox 4.5. for Windows)

Data base (DB) was created that contains the information on structure and functional activity of photosynthetic apparatus and productivity parameters of 14 varieties and hybrids of barley (two subspecies Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. vulgare and ssp. distichon ) and three wild species (H. jubatum L., H. spontaneum C.Koch., H. leporinum (Lk) Richt). The studied forms differed in productivity, yield, early or late ripening and other parameters, that were used in statistical processing as grouping characteristics. The materials included in DB were obtained in 1982-1998. DB includes 44 measured and calculated parameters of structure and functional activity of photosynthetic apparatus, biochemical, growth, age, ontogenetic and other characteristics of a whole plant and its organs. These characteristics were studied in 1143 variants. The purpose of DB is scientific investigations. The analyses of data revealed specific features of structural-functional organization of photosynthetic apparatus in different plant organs during ontogenesis, sink-source relations, productivity and also some endogenous limiting factors of growth and productivity in different barley species and forms. Now DB is filling up with the information on assimilate translocation and hormonal status of a whole barley plant and its organs. Quattro Pro 5.0, Excel 7.0, Paradox for Windows 4.5. were used for the DB creation. Support: RFBR, grants 97-04-48374 and 97-04-49900.

The Ural State University, Lenin av. 51, Ekaterinburg, 620083, Russia.
Tel. (3432) 616685, 613124, Fax (32432) 557401. E-mail


Investigation of the seed productivity character in Phaseolus vulgaris L. by the method of statusmetry

Database (299 records; 131 fields) was created. List of parameters includes morphological characters, biological properties, agronomic characters, chemical composition, technological evaluation and resistance. Six functional models of seed productivity were constructed: 3 for determinate and 3 for indeterminate accessions. The most informative parameters were determined and quantitatively estimated. For bush (determinate) and climbing and semi-climbing (indeterminate) accessions these were: number of productive knots on the stem, mass of 1000 seeds, leaf length and resistance, for indeterminate ones also the number of pods on productive knot. Models make it possible: 1) to reveal two ways of seed yield formation depending on weather conditions: a) by increasing productive stem knots number, b) by increasing mass of 1000 seeds; 2) to recommend breeders key traits of high seed productivity: for determinate accessions these should be long stem (50 cm and more), long and wide leaf, long pod, resistance; for indeterminate small-seeded and medium-seeded ones - limited length of stem (not exceeding 120 cm), thick stem, large number of branches, large number of pods on productive knots (2-4), short, narrow or medium-wide pod, and resistance; for indeterminate large-seeded ones - limited length of stem (not to exceed 170 cm), thick stem, 1 pod per productive knot, wide and long pod, resistance; 3) to identify accessions promising as initial material for breeding for high productivity. Computer technologies developed in Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry have been used.

N. I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry, 42, Bolshaya Morskaya street, 190000, St. Petersburg, Russia.


A research of an intraspecific variability of Dactylis glomerata L. in the Luzhsky district of the Leningrad Region

Dactylis glomerata L. (dew grass) is used for creation of hay-makings and pasture lands. Research of the morphological variability of Dactylis glomerata populations was conducted in the various ecological conditions in the flood grasslands of the average current of the River Luga, to search the material for the selection of the new high yield varieties. In 1996 in the flood grassland communities samples of 30 plants each were selected in the 16 sites. The investigated communities belong to concurrent river-side and average zones of a flood-plain. DB of 840 records (samples) and 23 fields, including the description of the condition of the sites and the morphological characteristics of a culm, a leaf and an inflorescence, was created. Comparison the populations dew grass in the sites of present mesophyte and hydromesophyte grasslands was conducted by the methods of statusmetria and the following model was constructed:

Z = 0.0851 - 0.6176 11 - 0.4388 19 - 0.3752 12 - 0.3546 16 - 0.3335 20 + 0.2195 17
where 11 - the variability of a length of the culm is the most essential, and also the following characteristics are allocated: 19 - a number of the circles in the inflorescence, 12 - a length of the leaf sheath, 16 - a width of the leaf, 20 - a number the branches of the 1-th circle, 17 - a distance from the first leaf to the inflorescense. In the model, the absolute value of the coefficient at character corresponds to the information significance of the latter. The error of the model is 21,0 %. According to our results, two morfotypes of the Dactylis glomerata populations from the flood grassland communities of the River Luga can be offered for selection. The first morphotype was collected from the sites of the real mesophyte grasslands, and the second one - from the sites of the hydromesophyte grasslands with the larger values of culm length and other allocated characteristics.
N. I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry, 42, Bolshaya Morskaya Str., 190000, St. Petersburg. Russia,
Tel. (812)3144727, Fax (812)3118762, E-mail


Database for searching of new ecdysteroid containing plants

(MS Access 97)

Ecdysteroids are the hormones of metamorphosis of insects and crustaceans. The compounds were found in many plants but their functions in plants are still unknown. Ecdysteroid distribution study of plant kingdom allows coming nearer for understanding of their functions. The generalization of literature and our data on presence/absence of ecdysteroids in plants showed that the distribution of ecdysteroids inside the families is not random. Ecdysteroid containing plants are grouped according to their phylogenetic classification (genera and tribes). It does not mean that all representatives of "positive" genera or tribes contain ecdysteroids. It is only signify that during plant screening it is necessary to test species of as many families as possible, on one hand. On other hand, if ecdysteroids are found in some species, the representatives of the same genus and tribe have to be tested first for ecdysteroids. We used the principle of "positive tribes" to discover new ecdysteroid containing species in flora of the European Northeast of Russia. Results of screening will be presented in our report. Database can be used to forecast on ecdysteroid presence/absence in other floras.

Institute of Biology RAS, Komi Scientific Centre, Ural Division, Syktyvkar 167610, Russia, Tel. 8212 216714, Fax 42 01 63,


Data base on structural and functional characteristics of leaf photosynthetic apparatus in higher water plants of the Middle Urals

(MS Excel 7)

Data base (DB) of 94 structural and functional characteristics of photosynthetic apparatus in 52 leaf samples which belong to 42 higher water plant species (12-emergent, 11-floating-leaved, 3-free floating, 16-submerged), is created. DB includes the main quantitative characteristics of photosynthetic tissues (mesophyll and epidermis): leaf and epidermal thickness, cell and chloroplast size, cell and chloroplast amount per leaf area unit, chloroplast number per cell, total surface of mesophyll (Ames/A) and epidermis (Aep/A) and total surface of chloroplasts (Achl/A) per leaf area unit. Chlorophyll, carotinoid, soluble protein and sugars, Rubisco, starch, N, C content per dry weight and leaf area unit are presented in DB. DB includes the information on Rubisco and PEPC activity, photosynthetic rate, distribution 14C in products of five minute photosynthesis. The ecobiological data of species (life form, type of ecological strategy, chorotype, type of mesophyll structure) are also presented in DB. Now DB is used for determing structural and functional peculiarities of leaf photosynthetic apparatus in higher water plants of different groups. DB is also used in the comparative ecophysiological study for the investigation of plant adaptations to the main ecological factors and for the creation of functional classification of plants. Support: RFBR, grant N 97-04-49000 & Program "Universities of Russia", N 454.

Urals State University, Lenina 51, Ekaterunburg, 620083, Russia, Tel. 3432 613124, Fax 3432 557401, E-mail