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Arizona State University (ASU) 2017

Developing a Virtual Flora Portal for Vascular Plants of Saudi Arabia

Albediwi, Albatool

Titre : Developing a Virtual Flora Portal for Vascular Plants of Saudi Arabia

Auteur : Albediwi, Albatool

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University (ASU)

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2017

A floristic analysis is essential to understanding the current diversity and structure of community associations of plants in a region. Also, a region’s floristic analysis is key not only to investigating their geographical origin(s) but is necessary to their management and protection as a reservoir of greater biodiversity. With an area of 2,250,000 square kilometers, the country of Saudi Arabia covers almost four-fifths of the Arabian Peninsula. Efforts to document information on the flora of Saudi Arabia began in the 1700s and have resulted in several comprehensive publications over the last 25 years. There is no doubt that these studies have helped both the community of scientific researchers as well as the public to gain knowledge about the number of species, types of plants, and their distribution in Saudi Arabia. However, there has been no effort to use digital technology to make the data contained in various Saudi herbarium collections easily accessible online for research and teaching purposes. This research project aims to develop a “virtual flora” portal for the vascular plants of Saudi Arabia. Based on SEINet and the Symbiota software used to power it, a preliminary website portal was established to begin an effort to make information of Saudi Arabia’s flora available on the world- wide web. Data comprising a total of 12,834 specimens representing 175 families were acquired from different organizations and used to create a database for the designed website. After analyzing the data, the Fabaceae family (“legumes”) was identified as a largest family and chosen for further analysis. This study contributes to help scientific researchers, government workers and the general public to have easy, unlimited access to the plant information for a variety of purposes


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