Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Online Pollen Catalogue Network (RCPol)
Bruno de Carvalho Albertini

Building: Computer Science
Room: Computer Science 3
Date: 2016-12-09 11:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Last modified: 2016-11-18


The need for a pollen database to help with the identification of plant species motivated the construction of RCPol (Online Pollen Catalogues Network). Designed in 2009 and created in 2013-2015, RCPol’s main objective is to promote interaction between researchers, and the integration of data from their pollen collections, herbaria and bee collections. RCPol’s coordinators and collaborators intend to facilitate the search for information on Angiosperms species, their flowers, their pollen and the interaction between these plants and bees. Its main feature is an interactive species identification key that was developed in collaboration with the Escola Politécnica of USP (Universidade de São Paulo), and used by researchers of several Brazilian Institutions and others countries in America and Europe. This key was developed to identify species through the morphological description of its flowers and pollen grains. The database is available in the RCPol website (http://ww.rcpol.org.br). The network also allows access to plant species webpages that describe the main characteristics of the species, and to the specimen data at the collection. Currently, the RCPol’s Melissopalynology and Palynoecology database holds more than 500 plant species. Two other pollen databases are under construction: Palynotaxonomy and Paleopalynology, both planned to be publicly available at end of 2016.

Eight pollen collections are currently taking part in the network, and fifteen others are expected to join in the next two years. Palynology has been a complementary science, supporting studies on pollinator’s management and conservation, especially bees, in natural ecosystems and agroecosystems. At the beginning, our focus was on identifying the plant species used in bees’ diets but over time we extended to other areas of Palynology such as: Palynotaxonomy, Copropalynology, Forensic palynology, Geopalynology and Paleopalynology. With the spread of the use of pollen as a natural marker and given the small number of researchers working on Palynology and the few Pollen Collections in Brazil in relation to the existing botanical diversity, RCPol wants to encourage the integration of the Pollen Collections.

Our presentation will include our progress, some technological decisions, integration with data quality tools and standards, and our roadmap. Our goal is to collect feedback from the community to drive the future of the network.