ATDN tree morphospecies website

A collaborative platform for tree morphospecies identification & standardisation

The morphospecies concept

Performing botanical inventory on a plot usually means to categorise, based on morphological characteristics, all individuals plants in disjunct classes (usually of supposed specific level) and then to fit each of these classes to named botanical entities (usually taxonomically valid species). In the highly diverse and often poorly known tropical rainforests, where most trees are in sterile state at the time of census, neither part of the process is fully achieved. A variable proportion of trees cannot be classified in speciel-level entities and are left unidentified, or with imprecise botanical names (e.g. genus name, family name). Meanwhile, others are placed in species-level entities that botanists are unable to match with known botanical species.
In order to avoid the exclusion of the latter categories in biodiversity analyses, especially for the computation of α-diversity indices, a common practice is to provide them with  provisional names such as "sp. PlotA#1", "Myrtaceae sp.10", "Ocotea sp. 12".
Here, we call morphospecies all these species-level entities with provisional names. However, for the purpose of this website, we will only consider those coming with sufficient information, i.e. at least a scanned image of an exsiccatum, in order to allow caracterisation and comparison with other morphospecies or true species.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith