Florabank1: a grid-based database on vascular plant distribution in the northern part of Belgium (Flanders and the Brussels Capital region)
archeophytes, flora, grid mapping, indigenous species, naturalised aliens, Tracheophyta
Florabank1 is a database that contains distributional data on the wild flora (indigenous species, archeophytes and naturalised aliens) of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region. It holds about 3 million records of vascular plants, dating from 1800 till present. Furthermore, it includes ecological data on vascular plant species, redlist category information, Ellenberg values, legal status, global distribution, seed bank etc. The database is an initiative of “Flo.Wer” (www.plantenwerkgroep.be), the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO: www.inbo.be) and the National Botanic Garden of Belgium (www.br.fgov.be). Florabank aims at centralizing botanical distribution data gathered by both professional and amateur botanists and to make these data available to the benefit of nature conservation, policy and scientific research. The occurrence data contained in Florabank1 are extracted from checklists, literature and herbarium specimen information. Of survey lists, the locality name (verbatimLocality), species name, observation date and IFBL square code, the grid system used for plant mapping in Belgium (Van Rompaey 1943), is recorded. For records dating from the period 1972–2004 all pertinent botanical journals dealing with Belgian flora were systematically screened. Analysis of herbarium specimens in the collection of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, the University of Ghent and the University of Liège provided interesting distribution knowledge concerning rare species, this information is also included in Florabank1. The data recorded before 1972 is available through the Belgian GBIF node (http://data.gbif.org/ datasets/resource/10969/), not through FLORABANK1, to avoid duplication of information. A dedicated portal providing access to all published Belgian IFBL records at this moment is available at: http://projects.biodiversity.be/ifbl All data in Florabank1 is georeferenced. Every record holds the decimal centroid coordinates of the IFBL square containing the observation. The uncertainty radius is the smallest circle possible covering the whole IFBL square, which can measure 1 Km² or 4 Km². Florabank is a work in progress and new occurrences are added as they become available; the dataset will be updated through GBIF on a regularly base.