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Universidade Federal do Acre

Floristics and Economic Botany of Acre, Brazil
Florística e Botânica Econômica do Acre, Brasil

Checklist of the Flora and Mycota of Acre, Brazil

The preliminary checklist presented here is based on 8365 collections identified to species. At this point in our floristic survey of the 153.149 km2 that Acre comprises, we have registered 3273 taxa (including infraspecific taxa); we cannot yet hazard a guess as to the richness of the total flora. Without a doubt, the curve expressing number of species vs. number of collections is still concave.

The checklist is searchable. It is a precursor to a searchable database that will be made available on the Web once gaps in the geographic coordinates have been eliminated. It has been examined for redundancies and orthographic variants (of both species and authors). A large number of taxonomic and nomenclatural synonyms have been detected via correspondence with specialists, herbarium work, taxonomic literature, and other databases and checklists. These synonyms have been dealt with, but undoubtedly quite a few remain. Reports are being sent to a number of taxonomic specialists that include not only a checklist for their groups but also basic information on all the collections for each species, including collector, collector numbers, and localities. The specialists are being asked to proof the checklist. We have sent reports to twelve specialists who work on speciose and frequently collected plant families; together, they can account for 40% of the collections made in the state. Readers are also asked to send us corrections and comments.

The core of the Acre project - and the source of the checklist -- is the specimen-based database, which contains the available information on all botanical collections from the state since Ernst Ule's pioneering expedition in 1901. Botanical exploration took place sporadically between 1901-1989, and the data are widely scattered and in some cases only partially accessible. Since the NYBG/UFAC collaboration began in 1990, the floristic survey has been more centralized and more systematically planned. The database now contains some 14,000 complete (for field data) records and includes the great majority of historical collections. Updates are communicated electronically each semester to UFAC.

During this past year, we have invested our efforts most heavily in organizing and completing the flora database, in order to begin to apply our results to the state zoning project now under way and to prepare this preliminary flora checklist for posting on the Internet. We have been able to enter more than one thousand determinations to species into the data-base in the past twelve months. This does not include several hundred determinations of sterile as well as fertile inventory vouchers that have not been entered. Still, one of the motivations for a proposal now pending with NSF is the urgent need to eliminate much of the remaining identification backlog by providing taxonomic specialists with the specimens, background information, field opportunities, time, and obligation to resolve taxonomic problems in their groups and put names on the plants.

Other progress on the database during the past twelve months included the following:

Checklist of the Flora and Mycota of Acre, Brazil