Mapping Historical Data: Recovering a Forgotten Floristic and Vegetation Database for Biodiversity Monitoring
New publication focused on recovery of an old (30-40 years old) dataset on plant biodiversity in the SE slope of the Alps. Multitemporal biodiversity data on a forest ecosystem can provide useful information about the evolution of biodiversity in a territory.The present study describes the recovery of an archive used to determine the main Schmid’s vegetation belts in Trento Province, Italy. The archive covers 20 years, from the 1970s to the 1990s. During the FORCING project (an Italian acronym for Cingoli Forestali, i.e., forest belts), a comprehensive process of database recovering was executed, and missing data were digitized from historical maps, preserving paper-based maps and documents. All of the maps of 16 forest districts, and the related 8000 detected transects, have been georeferenced to make the whole database spatially explicit and to evaluate the possibility of performing comparative samplings on up-to-date datasets. The floristic raw data (approximately 200,000 specific identifications, including frequency indices) still retain an important and irreplaceable information value. The data can now be browsed via a web-GIS. We provide here a set of examples of the use of this type of data, and we highlight the potential and the limits of the specific dataset and of the historical database, in general. View Full-Text

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A web-GIS, is hosted on servers in the Fondazione Edmund Mach and it is freely accessible at http://meteogis.fmach.it/forcing/.