An interactive information retrieval system (IRS) of WIR Herbarium is developed and sited at http:// www.herbarium.nw.ru. The IRS provides searching on family or genus names. The information retrieved includes data on availability of specimens for species, subspecies, varieties and forms belonging to the genus or family of query, the herbarium sheet identification numbers. We plan to include herbarium sheets' images in the dB. The herbarium DB is developed with FoxPro. The IRS is written in Perl and utilizes to access the data, so avoiding any data conversions. The Web-server software is free Lotus Domino Go Webserver 4.6.2 (IBM)/ Windows NT 4.0. Support: RFBR, grant 98-07-90243.
Internet DB which is constructed on banks of introduced plants of Russian botanical gardens (http://www.ptz.karelia.ru/hortus/drr/main_a.htm). Currently, it contains genera of trees and shrubs of Russian botanical gardens collections in Russian and in English. The result of search in the DB is the list of botanical gardens which have definite genus (or species, subspecies, ... in future). We can offer an original freeware plants database software (Calypso) to all Russian botanic gardens (download URL: http://www.ptz.karelia.ru/hortus/pbg/soft_st.htm). It will help us to collect information. Calypso was developed by us and used now in several botanical gardens of Russia.
Database is created for the living collection of Umbelliferae, MSU botanical garden. The base unit in DB is a plant sample that is one or group of plants of common origin collected in one locality on the same day, or grown from seeds of one provenance. The most important database tables are: SAMPLE (ID, origin reference, planting year, inventory number, sample condition dead/living/merged with parent, last observation year), ORIGIN (ID, sample reference, last nomenclature reference, region and country reference, locality, collectors, date, voucher number, botanical garden, "delectus" year, number in the "delectus"), OBSERVATIONS (sample reference, observation year, bed number, position on the bed, annual condition reference, seed collected y/n). There are also some tables connected with nomenclature. Our database allows to carry out the sample search by any attribute. Database ensures the exact and complete information processing for samples and a precise annual inventory.
The first variant of the database appeared in 1993. It was developed in FOXPRO 2.0. Nowadays a more advanced version made in Access 7.0 for Windows-95 is used. The structure of the database and the operating instructions were described by us in detail in our earlier papers ("Computer Databases in Botanical Research", 1995, 1997). The database was created in 1993-1998. It included the species information based on the specimens housed in the Herbarium collections of the Central Siberian Botanical Garden. At present the database contains the information on 1333 species of Novosibirsk Region flora including the species distribution in administrative units, ecological characteristics and opportunities for utilization. Using the database one can not only make queries, but also analyze the flora of the region as a whole, as well as the floras of the separate districts according to certain criteria. Along with the database growth this analysis has become reliable enough. In the flora of Novosibirsk Region the following families have the largest number of species: Asteraceae (58 genera, 161 species), Poaceae (accordingly 42 and 113), Cyperaceae (10 and 89), Fabaceae (16 and 72), Brassicaceae (30 and 60). The analysis of the regional flora allowed us to point out the better studied districts: Novosibirsky (98 families, 376 genera, 764 species), Maslyaninsky (accordingly 98, 341, 727), Iskitimsky (100, 367, 709). The least studied districts are Severny (67, 247, 442), Vengerovsky (68, 248, 438). The number of endangered and vulnerable species in the above mentioned districts is as follows: Novosibirsky (9 and 12), Maslyaninsky (10 and 14), Iskitimsky (5 and 11), Severny (5 and 7), Vengerovsky (2 and 2).
The World Ocean's seaweed herbarium (IBSS, Sevastopol) is among treasured national collections of Ukraine. It comprises over 500 species (20000 specimens) from various floristic provinces. The core of the collection was formed during research cruises 1964-1992. The earliest contribution are 2000 Black Sea seaweeds collected in the late XIXth - early XXth centuries. Of special value are specimens gathered near islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and deepwater banks in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The herbarium has no analogue in Ukraine and Europe. The descriptions and high precision digital photographs are served by a database in DBMS MS Access format that facilitates access to the material and makes the study more efficient and informative. Expanded Request Language allows to explore aspects of biogeography, biodiversity of the World Ocean, species transformation and migration routes in the changeable environment. Elaboration of a uniform digital (computer) format for describing floristic specimens will foster creation of an integrated database of European marine herbaria. Then taxonomic search bursts into global information space. Today fragments of the interaction catalogue and graphic files are accessible through Internet. Further international cooperation in this field and implementation of joint projects employing Internet technologies require the involvement of young researchers in floristic studies so that to fill the crying deficiency of algologists.
Culture collections of fungi create possibilities to conduct morphological, biochemical and genetic researches. Data-input to the database about characters of strains in Culture Collection of Basidiomycetes of Komarov Botanical Institute began in 1992, at first it consisted of about 500 strains which maintained in the collection. The database renovates annually and now 670 strains belonging to 395 species, 142 genera and 31 families from the orders Agaricales, Aphyllophorales, Boletales, Cortinariales, Polyporales, Poriales, Russulales and several orders of Gasteromycetes, are included in the database. The living tissue macrofungi isolates from different geographical regions of Russia, former USSR and foreign countries are represented in the collection. The database includes nomenclatural data, information about the sources of isolation and methods of keeping for each strain. The system IRIS 1.3 (Instrumental complex for Elaboration of Documented Systems) developed in Institute of biochemistry and physiology of microorganisms (Puschino) was used for creation the database. The system that is used in the Laboratory of fungal biochemistry BIN includes six special bases: "The catalogue (Russian version)", "The catalogue (English version)", "Index", "The mediums", "Bibliography", "Organizations". The forms of the database have 30 fields and the glossaries; it is possible to print information as Catalogue and Index. The database was taken as a basis of Internet version of the Catalogue of Collection, which located in MSDN server (Microbial Data Network). Nowadays we continue the work in order to increase and provide wide application of the database and plan to publish the new version of the Catalogue.
Purpose of DB "ALPEN" is a systematization, accounting and effective access to the data on plant collections stock. DB now contains an information about 3224 samples of plants, belonging to 1400 species, 380 genera, 88 families. Two libraries were made for standardization and acceleration of the data input: list of families and list of genera. When a generic name is input from the library in the field of main DB, the name of corresponding family is exported automatically to FAM-field. Macros is used to complete the DB fields. The main DB includes information about species, varieties, garden form of collection plants and a way of obtaining materials, dates of sowing (planting), dates of downfall, location on the collection (alpine hillock, bed/hole), areal. It is possible to look for and form different lists (taxa or dates, location, areals) according to corresponding fields. Collection systematization and accounting become more facilitate. It is possible to get text files (report files) from DB to include in publications.
Laboratory of Bottom Fauna has collected a large body of data (of more than 120 expeditions during 50 years) on the quantitative and qualitative content and geographic distribution of the sea bottom fauna. In order to provide easy access to the data and to facilitate its biogeographic analysis, the database of the data from the expedition journals of the Laboratory of Bottom Fauna has been created.The voyage and depth information and data on geographic distribution and composition of different taxonomic groups are distributed among three interconnected tables. Thereby, the physical volume of the database is reduced, whereas the access to the data is provided by the links between the tables. This structure of the database allows to extract the necessary information according to arbitrary selection criteria. The first table (Cruise List) covers the cruise information: ship, cruise number, geographic region, the numbers of the first and last stations, depths range, the manned underwater devices. The second table (Cruise data) provides the detailed information on each station: geographic region, the station number, depth, coordinates, the hunting implements. Third table (Cruise Taxon) lists the information on each taxon: its class, order, genus, family, species, abundance and biomass. Support: Volkswagen Foundation.
Funded scientific collections of the Zoological Museum, Byelorussian State University are the largest in the Republic of Belarus. At present ones comprise 119210 collected items (about 110 000 specimens of invertebrates and 10 050 of vertebrates) representing fauna of Byelorussia, the former USSR and other regions of the Palaeactic. In the museum collections there are type specimens of some taxa (Insecta: —oleoptera: Histeridae, Chrysomelidae). DB contains the block taxonomic information. Complete data of geographical and ecological labels, information on collectors and origin of items, official museum information (collection code, information on the method of object preservation, location in collections) are stored in the corresponding datasheets of the main block of geographical, ecological and official museum information. Data input is executed by means of constructed forms. DB can be used to obtain operative report on collection fund, in research work, for an information exchange between museums.
During 6 years in Zoological Institute RAS the integrated computer system ZOOINT is developed to provide specialists with information on animal taxa. (Lobanov at al., 1994; Smirnov at al., 1995; Sokolov at all, 1997). In 1991 the conception of integrated software package was proposed with efficient input of collection information and possibilities to analyze the stored data using various queries (Smirnov, 1993; Smirnov at al., 1994). For 6 years on the basis of MDBS FoxPro the information retrieval system (IRS) ZOOINT (ZOOlogical INTegrated system) was developed.In 1995-1998 an attention has been paid to create a local network and adaptthe IRS to the network. Originally the IRS consisted of 4 mainframes: classification of the animals, distribution, collection and bibliography. Then IRS was completed with the following two blocks: symbiotic communications and experts, studying the given animals. The inclusion of the "symbiotic" block has caused a necessity of development of the classifier of plants. For universalisation of the system (it will be named "BIOINT") it is necessary to add the classifiers on fungi, bacteria and other groups of living organisms.System will allow to receive the fast answers to complex queries on symbiotic relations of various taxa of the animals and plants and to accumulate such informationin research center. Support: RFBR (projects N 93-04-21216 "System of computer integrated data processing on a biodiversity of the animals (ZOOINT)" and N 96-07-89086 "Development of integrated system ZOOINT for use in the zoological database").
Database on Polychaeta of the Arctic Ocean is being developed since 1986 at the Department of Hydrobilogy, Moscow State Unicersity. Now the data have been imported into Access 97. Database informationcan be to divided into two parts. The first one includes qulitative data, which can be used only for plotting points on maps of distribution and scale of environmental factors. In March, 1999 this part contained more than 4000 records: results of re-identification made by members of our group of following collections: ZIN, ZMUM, Shirshov Institute, Departments of the Invrtebrate Zoology and Hydrobiology and some others. The other part of the base includes quantitative information, which can be used for calculations, for example, for revealing the preferred ranges of the abiotic factors. Necessary conditions to classify of an information as the last category are a reliance that all material of the given sample was saved in a collection. In March 1999 this part includes more than 13 000 records about a number of specimens and biomass of 205 taxa in samples collected from Newfoundland to the Kuril Islands, but mainly in the Artcic Ocean; all identification have been mabe by members of our group. A total number of stations and samples is more than 6000 records in one table. This table includes columns of coordinates, depth, bottom temperature, salinity, sediment characteristics, type and square of sampler, collecting date and some others. The information of both parts are presented in 7 interconnected tables.
The usage of computer programs created at the Zoological Institute on the base of MDBS FoxPro included primarily the composition of the OCEAN - data bank of the ichthyological collection. This bank has a systematic part - classifiers on Pleuronectiformes, Scorpaenoidei, Cottoidei and Zoarcoidei, and station part containing information about localities where fishes have been collected. It allows conducting the search of information by means of numerous queries and also can be attached to the bibliographical data base, for example, to bibliographical data base on flatfishes in the ZOOBIB system. Besides, the creation of the computer key (BIKEY) for Pleuronectiformes has been started. The matrix of 90 species and 38 characters is being composed. As a result an integrated data bank on flatfishes has been established applying ZOOCOD, OCEAN, ZOOBIB, BIKEY programs.
Data retrieval system based on CDS/ISIS/M v.3.07 (3.071) to register botanical collection supports input, search, retrieving and printing records. Several programming algorithms written in ISIS-Pascal are new to CDS/ISIS/M. Simultaneously more than one DB can be accessed. Data entry worksheet includes interactive access to the search dictionary almost for every data element and thus providing the one-fold entry principle. Worksheet is structured as habitual paper plant record card; during data input the special module performs automatic search for the botanical classification elements of family name and fully automatically includes them into a record. Eight botanical classifications are intended to be used. Each classification is situated in a separate data base and connects to common system. Number of these data bases is unlimited. Search interface includes sophisticated programs and provides multi-aspect search with automatically created request to data base. Records can be presented on screen using various report formats. Original program allows to perform described above algorithm of searching the family in one of the accessed classifications and presents the report on screen. Other original program allows to find out and select graphic files in PCX, JPG and other formats, to show the image in the screen and to insert it into the plant record. It is possible to browse plant images and other graphic information prepared with scanner or digital camera. Any picture - common view, microscopic structure, spread areal or dislocation in the garden may be inserted. A reliable reserve copy of DB in text format is available. This complex in the local net can be used as a reference tool.
Information System (IS) was designed to optimize an access to the mycology collections information. The IS contains the following interconnected data set: "Name" - a systematic position of each species, its characteristic of the prevalence accompanied by synonyms and bibliography of the earlier finds for the region investigated; "Locate" - an administrative and geographic position of the region studied; "Facts" - the information including the landscape-climate characteristic of the collection site of the sample, the substrate characteristics of the sample, the state of the fruit body (dry or fresh), the information about the frequency of appearing and about number of the fungi at the collection site. The tables are connected by an identification key (ID). The structural and comparative analysis of the mycobiota using the IS may be realized by any method of the florae analysis. Forming of other kinds of inquiries is realized directly depending on the task. In this time the IS contains the data about 1700 samples of 186 species of the order Aphyllophorales from the regional mycological herbarium "Macromyceta of Baikal region" of Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. The offered method of the knowledge organization systematizes practicall y all field observations on the ecology-mycology subjects, the results of the cameral processing, and also the attendant information. Use of the structured information that organized as the Relational DB is the main advantage of IS.
The operation of IRS "OCEAN" (Smirnov & Smirnov, 1997) in the laboratory of marine research forced the development of local network for quick databases (DB) update. Station DB includes now more than 10000 records for over 100 expeditions while DB of collections - about 12000 records. In 1996 the system was complemented with a new input module under DBMS FoxProTM for WindowsTM. Input in the majority of DB fields allows to use dictionaries, that is important to minimize errors. To operate DB without classifiers of organisms the system "Persey" was created. This system makes it possible to enter information on marine animals findings using simplified dictionaries that can be updated during the input process. "Persey" system was adapted to store and analyze hydrobiological information. Primary DB containing quantitative data on organisms in a single sample can be transformed into the station DB with calculated mean density of settlements, biomass, and their standard errors on square meter. The module to recalculate alcohol and formalin weights into wet weight, or carbon grams, and to estimate respiration, production, and assimilation rates of organisms was developed on the basis of "Persey" system. Production can be estimated by two methods: "physiological" (Umnov, Alimov, 1979), and according to McNeil & Lawton (1970). After DB will be completed the processing of the total data set would become possible (calculation of similarities for faunas in different regions, biogeographical zoning, analysis of species bathymetric distribution, estimation of species association and spatial aggregation indices, etc.). Support: RFBR (97-07-90315), programmes "Biodiversity" and "Integration".
Plasmodial slime molds (Myxomycetes = Myxogastria) are eukaryotic, phagotrophic bacterivores, fungi-like protista usually present and often abundant in terrestrial ecosystems. Myxomycetes are unique among living organisms in that they possess a life cycle that is a combination of single-celled stages and fruiting bodies which, in the majority of species, achieve macroscopic dimensions. These fruiting bodies can safely preserved as herbarium specimens. The primary objective of the proposed research is to assemble a comprehensive computer database that will incorporate all of the taxonomic, ecological, and distributional data represented by 5000 specimens of myxomycetes in the herbarium of the Laboratory of Systematics and Geography of Fungi, Komarov Botanical Institute (LE). This collection will serve as the starting point for the database to be developed. The database to be produced will provide a basis for additional studies of myxomycete ecology, geographical distribution, and patterns of biodiversity. Obtaining such knowledge is a basic and necessary prerequisite to a more complete understanding of the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems, where myxomycetes play an as yet undefined but possibly important role in the poorly known detritus food chain. With the help of database the following questions could be answered. Do exist distinctive distribution patterns in the species of myxomycetes? Which are the factors limiting the distribution, mainly availability of microhabitats or macroclimatic conditions? The computer system of will serve as the primary storage site for the database, which will be made electronically accessible to the scientific community over the Internet. On the basis of relational data base management system "FoxPro 2.5b for Windows" with the use of PC IBM-AT Pentium 8-64 RAM the projects have been worked out, that include screen forms for input, searching and editing of information application programs (.APP-files). The standard procedures of system for dynamic search of information were used. The basic unit for storage of information is the record about specimen. The character fields used for the database will conform to those already in use at LE. The information to be recorded for each specimen will include genus, specific epithet, authority, locality at which the specimen was collected, substrate upon which fruiting occurred, date collected, collector's name, the name of the person who identified the specimen if different from the collector, the name of the herbarium in which the specimen is housed, and the specimen's accession identifier in the herbarium cataloguing system. For saving the disc memory, acceleration of data processing and unification of data there have been created separate electronic dictionaries and classificators for the taxa names, geography units, vegetation, and microhabitats. For ecological data there have been used special file with detailed data about ecological factors. The filling of the main database was carried out with the help of these dictionaries in English or in transliteration. The special procedures accomplish the connection of dictionary files with the main files. Support: RFBR, grant N 98-07-90346).
Experience of the information retrieval system (IRS) "OCEAN" and the collection database (DB) operation in the laboratory of marine researches of Zoological Institute RAS has shown, that there are some problems caused by the use of one database by several experts. Collection DB contains records on 10.5 thousand stations now. Different sources that often are not complete or even contradict one another are used during the multiuser data input. Gradual accumulation of documentation errors forces during data transfer the multiplication of DB records that insignificantly differ from each other and contain the same information (i.e. station descriptions) and later causes a confusion and improper search results. Duplication can be evoked, in particular, by the presence of two dates - in Old (Julian) and Gregorian Styles (it is characteristic for collections from the late XIX - early XX centuries), by abbreviation or transcription of research vessels and organisations names. Hydrological parameters (salinity, temperature, depth) and station coordinates can shift during sampling or may have values in terms of different units and consequently may cause duplication too. In general it would be very desirable to have several adequate notations of every varying DB parameter. Only DB administrators must have unlimited rights to edit records. Checked data need to be marked and protected from changing by users. In the special field it is useful to indicate the source (sources) of the final correction. All these show the necessity of the development of flexible IRS allowing to add new fields as it is required and providing wider use of memo-fields and dictionaries. Although it will make DB design more bulky, entered data will become more precise. Support: programme "Biodiversity".
Botanical Garden of SPFTA is the largest center of introductional tests of woody plants in the North-West. Collection of Dendrological Garden, Nursery, Flower plantation and Greenhouse consists of approximately 2500 taxa. DB of collection funds was cteated, materials of researches, and recommendations for introduction were worked out. First version of a DBMS was created in 1995-1996 in the Clipper 5.01 environment. In 1998, according to recommendations of the International Council of Botanical Gardens (for compatibility with the transferable "BG-recorder" format) the new version of a DB in Access 7.0 was created. Because of this a possibility to link the DB to graphic images of sites (segments) of a Botanical Garden has appeared using GIS GeoGraph 1.6. Historically inventory lists were used for the registration of collection funds. Structure of inventory lists was used f creation of the DB inventory unit form which is represented by the following list of fields: families (line), genera (line), species (line), variety, form, breed (line), Russian title of plant (line), obtaining: a place, (line), kind of a material(line), year (number), year of crop (number), year of landing (number), number of plant specimens (number), winter resistance (number), condition (line), living form (line), division of the collection (line), accession number (number). The present version has the new principle pattern consisting of the following units: nomenclature, inventory, ecological, unit of phenological observations, agrotechnical, unit of protection and usage of plants and unit of illustrations.
In 1998 in the Republic of Belarus was created the electronic registry of botanical collections. This work was submitted by the Central Botanical Garden of National Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection of the Republic of Belarus. The information about 115 collection from more then 40 educational, academic, agricultural and forestry, microbiological and other organizations was included. This set includes 90 herbaria, 25 living collections. The main database consists from the following information blocks: 1. "Address" - Post addresses; 2. "Personal" - Curators and creators of collections; 3. "History" - The short descriptions of the collection development; 4. "Lists of Taxa" - Latin and Russian names of collection units; 5. "Literature" - Lists of the books about Byelorussian collections; "Misc." - conservation, utilization and other problems, connected with the collections and the collected units. All data were organized by the database management system created in Access 97. In addition to standard searching functions special GIS-like features were added. Now the system can execute the following types of queries: 1. thematic query; 2. regional query through the map image; 3. statistical query. The reports, created by the system are available in MS Word, MS Excel and HTML format.