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    IISc database on peninsular Indian flora now online

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    Bengaluru: The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on Sunday announced its database of flora in peninsular India was now online.

    "Nature enthusiasts now have free access to peer-reviewed information on over 10,000 species of plants from peninsular India through the 'Digital Flora of Peninsular India' site," the city-based, state-run institution said in a statement.

    The digital database of plants was created by the IISc's Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES).

    The website - http://flora-peninsula-indica.ces.iisc.ac.in. - which was unveiled on Saturday, draws on the information available in the herbarium, a collection of dried, pressed plants specimens and associated data housed at the CES, the statement said.

    "The herbarium was founded by botanist C.J. Saldanha, who collected these specimens from his explorations of Karnataka's flora. IISc acquired the herbarium after Saldanha's retirement," its in-charge K. Sankara Rao said.

    The digital database was unveiled by IT major Cognizant's former Chief Executive Lakshmi Narayanan, and the retired chair of Department of Botany and Sericulture at Bangalore University, Kameswara Rao.

    "The duo have been instrumental in promoting the initiative -- Narayanan made a personal contribution and Rao chaired the database's peer-reviewing committee," the statement added.

    IISc's team carried out ecological surveys to ensure that the information provided on the site was up-to-date.

    The website also features photographs taken from the team's field trips and scanned images of the herbarium specimens.

    "The team spent four years to collect, process and upload the information on the website," the IISc said.

    Availability of online database was a crucial step in addressing issues related to conservation of plant species and habitats, according to the herbarium's in-charge.

    The Institute also plans to expand the database to parts of north and central India and is also keen to include information on mosses and lichens ahead.

     

     

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